Otoplasty, or ear surgery, is a helpful procedure for men, women, teens, and even children who are unhappy with the shape, size, or projection of their ears. Protruding or misshapen ears can cause a lot of heartache for patients who experience these symptoms, from emotional strain due to teasing to self-consciousness. Made of cartilage, bone, and skin, the ears can be reshaped, resized, or even pinned to create an improved look. Such changes to the ears can reap big benefits for patients who are unhappy with the way they look. Most patients wonder, however, if these dramatic improvements will bring along an extensive recovery process. Here’s everything you need to know about otoplasty recovery and how it will affect you.
Your Otoplasty Healing Timeline
Following your otoplasty surgery, you may expect to feel a lot of pain and discomfort. Surprisingly, patients of this procedure typically experience much less pain than anticipated. In fact, otoplasty is not a tremendously invasive procedure and the ears tend to be easier to manipulate than other areas of the face. Your healing process will be relatively quick and most likely will pass without complication. To plan for your recovery, it can help to know when you’ll begin to heal and what symptoms to expect.
Generally, otoplasty patients can expect these healing milestones as they recover:
- First 24 hours: This is a critical recovery time when you’ll need to get plenty of rest and stay well hydrated. During this time, you’ll wear a mild compression dressing around the ears. Your ears will be swollen and sore.
- 24 to 72 hours: While your swelling may begin to decrease slowly, you should see a large improvement by the end of your third day of healing. You will wear your compression bandage throughout this period as well.
- Three days to one week: Many patients start to feel more comfortable at this time with some cleared to return to work. If you have a very physical job, you’ll need to stay out of work for longer. Your ears will be much less swollen and may be easy to hide when you style your hair.
- One to two weeks: By now, your ears won’t be noticeably swollen to other people and you will feel comfortable resuming much of your daily (and social) activities.
- By three months: While you’ll feel healed sooner than the three-month mark, you’ll need to wait up to three months for your swelling to be completely gone.
Talk to your facial plastic surgeon about any concerns you may have regarding the healing process. Your specific otoplasty experience will depend largely on the changes that are made to your ears and your personal circumstances.
How Can I Have My Best Otoplasty Recovery?
Taking proper care of yourself during your otoplasty recovery can help you to heal faster and more smoothly. Start by following your facial plastic surgeon’s instructions clearly and communicating with him about any of your questions or concerns throughout the process. For your best recovery, take special care to avoid any rigorous activity until you are cleared by your surgeon. You should also keep the area around your ears cool with cold compresses as directed. Take your pain medication as directed to minimize your pain and discomfort, as well as any physical stress than can interfere with the healing process. Especially in the beginning of your recovery, avoid getting the area wet or showering, keep the head elevated to reduce your swelling, and don’t sleep on your side. By taking these basic steps, you’ll lay the foundation for your successful recovery from otoplasty surgery.
What Can I Expect From My Results?
Once you’re healed and ready to get back to your life as normal, you might be wondering what your newly adjusted ears will look like. To ensure that you get the results you really want, it is essential that you work with a board certified facial plastic surgeon who is experienced in the otoplasty procedure. His skills and expertise will help to ensure you get the best results possible. You should also be sure to voice all of your concerns and desires clearly so your surgeon understands what you want to achieve through surgery.
When you meet with Dr. Rubinstein for your otoplasty consultation, he can help you to visualize your post-operative changes using the VECTRA 3D imaging system. This revolutionary technology takes real 3D pictures of you and shows your surgeon’s intended changes to give you a real first look at what your ears will look like after surgery. This revolutionary technology helps you as the patient to get more excited about your expected results but also to eliminate any potential miscommunications about the final look you’ll achieve.
Plan Your Otoplasty Consultation Today
Reshape and resize your ears the way you want when you consult with a facial plastic surgeon who is knowledgeable and experienced with this procedure. Dr. Ran Y. Rubinstein has been practicing in the Hudson Valley for more than 15 years and specializes in esthetic laser producers, facial plastic surgery, nasal, and sinus disorders. He uniquely combines his medical and surgical expertise to help patients feel better and look better. He holds dual board-certification from the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, is a member of the American Society for Laser Medicine & Surgery, and is an Assistant Professor at New York Columbia Presbyterian Hospital.