Otoplasty is a procedure which is done to reshape the ears to make it more aesthetically fitting for the rest of the head or facial structure.
This procedure also means pinning back the ears closer to the head to make them less prominent. Although it is largely a safe outpatient procedure, it still requires careful aftercare to ensure surgical success at the end of the recovery period.
Before we go on further with how the recovery process goes about, let me discuss briefly on how the procedure is done. First of all an incision is made behind the ear in which the cartilage is then reshaped with sutures or it is sometimes removed. It is then positioned much closer to the head, and it is kept in place through the use of sutures. Once the incisions are closed, a bandage is applied over the ears to protect the wound as it heals.
The entire procedure can take about two to three hours and sometimes even longer, and it uses local anesthesia for adults and general anesthesia for children. It is an outpatient procedure but you may have to stay in the facility for an hour to stabilize yourself after the procedure.
Your ears will be wrapped in bandage and you may feel this to be rather bulky and tight. But this is necessary to keep the pressure on the ears in order to keep them in place better. Although it may be rather uncomfortable, this is necessary for a speedy recovery.
After the vital signs (heart rate, respiratory rate, temperature, and blood pressure) are stable, you may then be cleared for discharge. However you need to have someone around to assist you. You should not be driving home because you could still be groggy from the effects of anesthesia.
The first 24 hours can be the hardest; therefore you need to have someone to be with you always at this time. For the most part around this time, you need to rest and relax. As you lie in bed, you must remember to keep your head elevated by propping some pillows to prevent swelling and minimize the chances of bruising.
Your ears can be sore around this time that is why your prescribed pain medications ready have at your bedside. This also allows you to rest and recuperate better. There are no dietary restrictions, but it would be best to consume light meals.
Keeping the bandage on for the next 72 hours can greatly reduce the swelling after that time. The surgeon will be the one who determines when the bandage will be removed. As this is being done, the surgeon also assesses the whether the healing process of the ears is improving. After that a lighter bandage will be applied. Some surgeons advise ski bands placed on the area for a certain amount of time.
After a week, and once the stitches have absorbed the second bandage can be removed and you can now take your first shower. Make sure that you clean the area carefully. Use a mild shampoo to prevent irritating the incision areas. You may also feel that the healing incisions to start itching, but you must not scratch it.
Although you may be able to return back to work after a couple of days post otoplasty, you must limit your physical activities to a minimum. For small children, you need to protect them from sports and other strenuous activities.
Follow these simple instructions and you can give yourself favorable results after your otoplasty surgery.
The Esteem Cosmetic Studio website provides general information about cosmetic surgery. General information is not a substitute for professional medical advice and treatment, and should not be accepted in place or in preference to a consultation with a surgeon.