How Long is Recovery from Ear-Pinning or Otoplasty Surgery?

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Ear-pinning or otoplasty surgery can have a profound effect on one’s self confidence. Many children desire ear-pinning procedure after tiring of rude remarks from other children regarding their prominent or protruding ears. Boys often grow their hair long to cover their ears and girls are likely to avoid wearing their hair up or in a ponytail, worried they’ll draw attention to a feature they are self-conscious about.

When visiting with Dr. Thompson, the first question is often, “How long is recovery from ear-pinning or otoplasty surgery?” For children and adults, it’s important to know how long to take off work or stay home from school.

It’s recommended that most patients plan on taking 3-5 days off for recovery, though many can return to work within 3-4 days as long as there is no heavy lifting involved and they are comfortable being out in public with a head-wrap, which needs to be worn for the first five days following surgery. It’s best to only remove the wrap morning and night to clean the incisions behind the ears and apply Neosporin or bacitracin ointment. After five days, the wrap needs to be worn just at night for an additional seven.

A compression bandage is placed immediately following surgery and can be removed after 24 hours. Swelling typically peaks around 48 hours and then begins to subside. Patients typically report minimal discomfort after one week though it can take up to 3 months for swelling to fully subside. Sutures are removed after 7 days, at which point patients can stop applying antibiotic ointment daily.

The results are apparent once the dressing has been removed though the ears may be a bit closer to the head initially.
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Salt Lake City Facial Plastic Surgeon