Otoplasty Recovery Time

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

Doctor Answers 26

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 85 reviews

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What is the Recover Time for an Otoplasty?

The recovery time for an otoplasy is in stages.  

The head dressing comes off after three to five days.  At this time there will still be some swelling,  but most adults can go to work without a dressing.  

However, at night, for six to eight weeks they must wear a protective head band, or sweat band to prevent the ears from inadvertently being pulled or folded during sleep.  

You are permitted to do exercise after a month, but should avoid heavy lifting for about eight to ten weeks. 

Even after ten weeks  after otoplasty it is still possible to  tear or disrupt the repair with forceful pulling of the ear.

Fredrick A. Valauri, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon

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 157 reviews

Otoplasty is a procedure with a very high rate of...

Otoplasty is a procedure with a very high rate of patient satisfaction. Most adult patients have wanted the procedure since being teased as a child; most children willingly undergo the procedure because the cruel taunts are still fresh.

When performed properly, the results are most natural and no one should be able to tell that the patient had anything done.

  • A head wrap bandage is worn from 3 to 5 days following the surgery.
  • Sutures are removed from behind the ears on the 5’Th to 7’Th day.
  • After five days, patients are pretty much healed, although the ears still need to be protected.
  • When sleeping or when home we advise to wear a snug headband over the ears so that the ears don't accidentally get "bent out of shape" for about three weeks after the surgery.
  • Contact sports should be avoided for about one month, but working out can start after about 10 days.

Good luck. Dr. P

Michael A. Persky, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

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 Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 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
The Woodlands Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

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.

Otoplasty Recovery Time

Otoplasty recovery is quick for many activities.  We remove the head/ear dressing after three days.  Patients may shower and wash the hair.  Our patients wear a protective beanie type cap for several weeks while sleeping to protect from ear trauma.  Exercise may begin after just a few weeks.  It is important for patients to avoid higher risk activities such as contact sports for several months.

Stephen Bresnick, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Recovering from Otoplasty

Most patients recover from otoplasty and can go back to work by one week. Children will need at least 5 days out of school for the procedure. There is a head dressing that is placed at the time of surgery and this stays in place for 3-5 days to ensure that no bleeding occurs between the skin and cartilage that could disrupt the result. Sutures are removed at one week.

In adddition, patients need to wear a headband at night for one month to prevent the ear from accidentally being pulled forward. Even after that time, it is important to prevent inadvertent injury to the ear. There will be swelling and mild bruising that usually goes away within one week. Occasionally swelling can persist for longer. There will also be numbness around the ear which usually returns within 4 weeks but may persist for 3-6 months. 

Kristina Tansavatdi, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

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.