Is an Elastic Headband Important And/or Necessary After Otoplasty?

Hello everyone! I had an otoplasty procedure done a week ago. Everything went great, so far I am making a quick recovery and the results are notable. My right ear is still a bit swollen but I know I just have to give it time. My concern is this: After the procedure I had that bulky head wrap on for about 24 hours. The day following the procedure the doctor took it off and sent me home. He did not emphasize on wearing some kind of headband at night. Is this needed or is it just for protection?

Doctor Answers 8

Otoplasty Healing

It is best to ask your surgeon his/her protocol for healing as they performed your surgery and know exactly what was done.

We generally recommend that our patients wear a soft head band (not tight) to protect their ears for 2 weeks after surgery. Two weeks after the otoplasty, I recommend that the soft headband be worn at night and for any physical activity where the ears are at risk for being hit or pulled.

Complying with these instructions will help ensure the permanency of the otoplasty surgery.

Boca Raton Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Headband after otoplasty

I am a proponent of headbands after otoplasty for the following reasons:

  • Protects ears from trauma
  • Encourages ears to heal in a more predictable manner
  • Avoids ears healing more forward due to retroauricular edema

Anil R. Shah, MD
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 166 reviews

Wearing the Headband After Otoplasty: Reasons and Rationale

The headband is a way to stabilize the ear after otoplasty. The band does not by itself position the ear, but more acts to prevent trauma to the ear and to support the healing process.  I ask my patients to wear the headband only at night to prevent pressure and folding of the ear while sleeping.   My patients wear the headband for only a few weeks. 

Stephen Bresnick, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Use of head band following otoplasty

Although different surgeons have different recommendations my personal preference is to use a head band for the first 6 weeks when you are in your home and at night to take tension off your internal repair as it heals and also for protection. Ask your plastic surgeon about his preference.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Head Band Necessary after Otoplasty?

Thank you for the question.

You may want to check with your surgeon to make sure a discussion about the headband was not forgotten about during your  follow-up visit. I use the headband after otoplasty surgery not as a “necessity” but as a “protection”,  especially useful when patients are sleeping.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,499 reviews

Head band after ear surgery - Otoplasty

Each doctor has his post operative plan. If your doctor has had a good experience with this protocol then follow his instructions since he performed the surgery. I personally have my patients wear a head band for a month after surgery as much as possible and then another two weeks at night.


Good luck!

Otoplasty protection

First, check with your doctor to be sure there wasn't an oversight.  Personally, I have patients wear a head band for about a month to help with swelling, and to ensure no "accidents" especially while asleep.



Scott E. Kasden, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 106 reviews

Wear a headband at night for at least a week after an otoplasty

Thank you for your question. I typically have my patients wear a head wrap for 3-4 days after surgery and then wear an elastic bandage or headband at night for another week for protection. It certainly doesn't hurt to be overly careful but maybe your surgeon doesn't feel that this is necessary. In addition to protecting your ears at night, be very careful with pull-over shirts for a couple of weeks. I recommend button-down shirts for at least two weeks as I had a patient tear open his incision one week after surgery while pulling a shirt over his head.

James McMahan, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 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.