Otoplasty, also known as ear correction surgery, is a common procedure to change the size or shape of the ears or to pin them back. Although it’s not the most invasive type of cosmetic surgery, it’s important to think about your recovery time and what you need to do to make the most out of the healing process. Read on to find out 8 simple otoplasty recovery tips for optimal results.
How Long is Otoplasty Recovery?
Prominent ear correction surgery is also referred to as ear reshaping. Often, your ear shape and size are largely dependent on genetics. That means you don’t really get a say in the appearance of your ears. For patients who feel that they have overly large or protruding ears, otoplasty may be an ideal solution.
Otoplasty Recovery Day by Day
Generally, the otoplasty recovery timeline is relatively straightforward. Overall, recovery takes about 6 weeks, but you will notice an improvement in your ears in the first 2 to 3 weeks. Many patients tend to go back to work around day 10. So, although you’re still recovering, you can resume most normal activities. By 3 months, most of your swelling should have gone. In 1 year, the swelling should be gone entirely, and your ears fully healed.
Here’s a breakdown of the otoplasty recovery timeline:
- Day 1 – in the first 24 hours you will return home the same day as your operation. Your head will be wrapped in bandages that covers the ears.
- Day 7 – in the first week, your doctor will advise you on any pain management. You should wear your head bandage for the first week as this helps to keep your ears in their new position and minmimses any swelling.
- 1 month – there is likely to be some swelling and bruising for the first few weeks.
- 6 weeks – full recovery takes about 6 weeks but you should still avoid full contact sports for at least a few months to protect your ears.
- 3 months – most of the swelling should have gone by this time.
- 1 year – while some patients may take a little longer to heal, by the end of the first year, everything should be healed and looking great.
Before and After Otoplasty
8 Simple Otoplasty Recovery Tips for Great Results
As patients heal at different rates, it’s difficult to say exactly how long your recovery will last. Typically, the time where your life is most affected is the first 2 weeks. Although your body is still healing after this, you will start to feel like your normal self. To help you achieve optimal results, here are 8 simple recovery tips.
1. Avoid Touching Your Ears
No matter how tempting it is, avoid touching or rubbing your ears after surgery. You may likely experience some change in the sensation of your ears; they may even feel numb. This is normal. But be careful not to rub or touch your ears too excessively, either unconsciously or by accident.
2. Wear Your Otoplasty Recovery Headband as Instructed
After your surgery, your ears will be wrapped in bandages. At around day 3, your surgeon will likely replace these bandages with a headband. The purpose of the headband is to protect your ears from damage. For instance, if you were to knock your ears by accident when brushing your hair. It’s no secret that it’s not the most attractive thing you will ever wear, but it’s hugely important that you follow your surgeon’s instructions.
3. Don’t Smoke
If possible, quit smoking altogether. But if this isn’t for you, avoid smoking for at least 6 weeks after your surgery. Smoking can hinder the healing process, slow down recovery, and increase the risk of complications.
4. Sleep in an Elevated Position
In any cosmetic procedure, swelling is a normal part of the recovery process. To reduce the amount of swelling, it’s crucial that you sleep with your head in an elevated position. It’s normal to feel tired after cosmetic surgery, so it’s crucial that you get plenty of rest after your treatment. Try tucking some extra pillows under your head for about 4-6 weeks.
5. Stay Away from Extreme Temperatures
Your ears may be numb for a few weeks. This means that you might not feel extreme temperatures, which could damage your new ears. To be safe, avoid extreme temperatures until your ear sensation comes back. Also, stay out of direct sunlight as prolonged sun exposure can darken scarring permanently.
6. Wear Easy to Remove Clothing
Your recovery wardrobe should include plenty of button shirts or anything with a long zip that’s easy to get on and off. Avoid any clothing that’s tight around the head or hard to push over your ears as you could knock your dressings while changing. Pulling clothes over your head could cause irration or damage the incision area.
7. Follow a Healthy Diet
Whether you’re undergoing otoplasty, rhinoplasty, or liposuction, your diet is important. Try to eat a healthy and balanced diet with plenty of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. It’s important that you give your body the fuel it needs to thrive and recover. Following your surgery, it may be difficult to chew hard foods. If this is the case, switch to softer foods or fibre-rich and nutritious smoothies to kickstart your otoplasty recovery.
8. Don’t Wash Your Hair
Although it’s tempting wash your hair and freshen up after the procedure, avodiing washing your hair for the first week. For at least the first week, completely avoid washing your hair. After the first week, avoid using shampoo when washing your hair. You can shower a day or so after the procedure, but avoid getting your head wet. After your head banadages are removed, you can start to wash your hair. This is typically between 8-12 days after your surgery.
Otoplasty Surgery at The Harley Clinic London
If you would like some more advice and guidance on how to make sure you heal successfully during recovery or are considering otoplasty, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with The Harley Clinic, London.