Otoplasty Recovery Time

What was your recovery time after an otoplasty? How long did it take to heal from the ear surgery? 

Doctor Answers 30

Otoplasty Recovery

There are various phases during the recovery process of a well executed otoplasty performed by a surgeon with expertise in ear reshaping:

  • First 24 hours- Patient wears a mild compressive garment on the head.  Patient ear appear larger and more swollen than ideal
  • 24 to 72 hours- Patient wears headband over ears as much as possible.  Majority of swelling begins to dissipate
  • 72 hours to First Week- Some patients will be able to return to work depending on their hairstyle and comfort with swelling in ear and duties at work
  • First Week to Second Week- Most patients feel comfortable in social situations with ears
  • Three Months-Swelling Completely subsided

Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 101 reviews

Ear Reshaping (Otoplasty) Recovery Time and Care

Otoplasty or ear reshaping is one of the most rewarding plastic surgery procedure for both the patient and the surgeon.

Below is my protocol that I have found to lead to good and predictable results:

  • Typically we place a compressive bandage on the ear for 24 hours and patients are encouraged to wear a light head band (like ski band around their ears for one to two weeks.
  • Typically the sutures are resorbable and do not need to be removed.
  • Usually patient can do their activity of daily living. No heavy activities for few weeks.
  • Patients can go back to work in a few days.
  • Generally satisfactory healing and assessment of results at 3 months.
  • The results are very obvious quickly after surgery once the dressing is removed.
  • Revisions are possible but rare.

Hope this is helpful.

Dr. Sajjadian

Ali Sajjadian, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 178 reviews

Recovery Time After Otoplasty

For the first 24 hours you will need to a wear a compression garment on the ear. Most patients take 3-5 days off from work. The ear garment is protective and should be worn for 2-3 weeks at night following surgery. After about 3 months everything should be largely healed and you will see your final results.

Otoplasty Recovery

Otoplasty or ear pinning is most typically done on children over the age of 6, but can be done on adults as well.  The procedure takes only about 45 minutes per side, and can be done in the office under local anesthesia in adults and in the operating room under sedation for children.  

The results are quite life-changing for most patients.  Post-operatively, here's what to expect:

  • Typically a compressive bandage is placed at the completion of the surgery
  • Then, a looser dressing is placed for another week.
  • A headband is worn at night while sleeping for the next 4-6 weeks.
  • light head band (like ski band around their ears for one to two weeks.
  • No lifting or carrying anything more than 10 pounds for 2 weeks.
  • No strenuous activity for 2 weeks.
  • The ear must stay dry for one week.
  • Results are very obvious once the dressing is removed, but some swelling can last for 6 weeks or more.
All the best,
Dr. Michelle Yagoda

Michelle R. Yagoda, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Otoplasty Recovery

The recovery from otoplasty surgery can vary from person to person, however the general guidelines in our otoplasty practice are as follows:
The surgery is usually performed under local anesthesia, some patients and very young patients opt for a sedation anesthesia.  The stitches will be behind the ear and a bandage will be worn around the ears for the first day.  The next day, the bandage will be changed to a looser one. We recommend that you bring a soft cotton hair band to use for this purpose.  I allow my patients to take the head band off 48 hours after surgery for showering.  The band should be worn all of the time except for some breaks for the first 7-14 days after surgery.  After that time frame I recommend that the head band be worn to protect the ears at night (while sleeping) and whenever performing any strenuous activity.  This is to protect the ears.

Generally speaking, pain is usually experienced the first night after surgery and a medication is given to help alleviate this. After the first night, my patients rarely need any additional pain medication.

Many people go back to work fairly quickly. Especially if they can wear their head bands to work.

Jacob D. Steiger, MD
Boca Raton Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Recovery time after otoplasty

Thank you for your question.

I perform otoplasty under general anaesthesia and patients go home the same day.  I  use all dissolving sutures. I put local local anaesthetic in and around the ears so that everything will be completely numb for many hours afterwards. I wrap both ears up in a bulky bandage and you take it easy for the next week. Obviously you would not be able to wash your hair during that time. One week following the surgery, the bandages are removed. After that, I just have you wear a sweatband type headband at night for the next few weeks. No swimming or sport for 2 or 3 weeks.

I hope this helps. 

Otoplasty healing

I have my patients wear a compressive gauze wrap for the first 48 hrs.  This is removed in the office.  Then the patient wears a head band 24/7 (only removing it to shower) for the next week.  Sutures are then removed.  At that point, the patient wears the same head band at night for the next 2 weeks.
I ask that they take 3-5 days off from work, and no strenuous activity for 7 days after surgery.

Clyde Mathison, MD
Knoxville Otolaryngologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Recovery after Otoplasty

The surgery can be done in the office under local anesthesia or in an operating room as day surgery. A gentle compressive bandage is placed around the ears, and the ears are gently padded with gauze to maintain comfort. In adults, a compressive bandage is recommended for the first 3-5 days all day, and then it is transitioned to only at night for a total of 2 weeks. In children, I recommend keeping the bandage in place for 2 weeks at all times. 

Adults are able to return to work in a week or less; children are able to return to school in about the same time, but should avoid PE activities for at least 2 weeks from the day of surgery.

I recommend obtaining a full evaluation by a plastic surgeon so you  can get a more individualized idea of what to expect during and after surgery. Good luck!

Bryan Correa, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Recovery time after ear pin back surgery

The wounds take about a week to heal.
During the first week you will have to wear a support bandage or a tennis band around your ears 24/7.
After the first week you need to wear a tennis band around your ears only at night when you go to bed for about 4-6 weeks. This is to avoid accidental folding of the ear that can undo the repair and the results.

Allow 6-8 Weeks to Resume Most Exercises/Activities Following Otoplasty

The vast majority of otoplasty patients recover quickly and experience minimal disruption to their day to day lives.  Patients typically wear a large head dressing for the first 2 to 5 days after surgery.  Patients are then switched to a compressive head band which is worn around the clock for three weeks.  At this point, they are required to wear the head band for an additional three weeks at night.  This helps avoid trauma to the ear from abnormal folding which can occur while the ear is still numb.

Scars are well hidden and rarely delay the resumption of normal activities.  Sutures are typically removed in 7 to 10 days following the procedure.  Swelling usually resolves quickly, but in some cases may persist for up to 3 months.

Resumption of athletics is dependent upon the activity and the potential for trauma to the ear.  Most sports can be resumed in 6 to 8 weeks, although rarely 3 to 4 months may be indicated when the risk of ear trauma is high.

This procedure is associated with high satisfaction rates and minimal complications.  If you’re considering otoplasty consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon is appropriate.  This surgeon should be able to help formulate an appropriate treatment plan for you.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.