How Long is Recovery Period for Ear if Cartilage is Used in Rhinoplasty?

I have seen many reports on recovery time for Rhinoplasty, but most of them do not mention anything about ear cartilage. I just had a Rhinoplasty, which required my left ear cartilage.

I could not sleep on my left side now and have to sleep on my right. I am curious to know how long do I need to recover from it, and most importantly, when can I sleep back on my left side. Thanks in advance.

Doctor Answers 7

Ear Can Take 8 Weeks To Heal After Cartilage Harvest

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The mild pain can persist for up to eight weeks after cartilage harvesting. This does not mean you should not sleep on that ear. You can sleep on that ear after the first week.


Bedminster Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 126 reviews

Recovery period for ear when cartilage is used in rhinoplasty

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It is acceptable to sleep on the ear that cartilage was harvested from for your rhinoplasty. It will take three to four months for the incision behind your ear to completely heal and be pain free. At this point you can sleep on your left side, although it may be painful it will not hurt the ear.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

Recovery for ear depends on how they did the ear cartilage

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In our practice we harvest ear cartilage 4-6 times a week for our large number nasal reconstruction patients. We use an incision behind the ear which gives the best scar. I can however result in a sore ear when you lay on it for 3 to 6 months. I think this is due to sensory nerve damage during the harvesting. It all heals up in time and most patients do not mention it after 3 months.

If you had an incision in the front of the ear that should feel better much sooner than behind the ear.

Hope this helps.

Ivan Wayne, MD
Oklahoma City Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Healing time for ear cartilage removal.

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 You can sleep on that ear after a few weeks. When the sensitivity is gone you will be able to sleep on that side like the other.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Healing from Ear Cartilage Harvesting

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Typically healing from ear cartilage harvesting can take about 2 to 4 weeks. You may still have some mild sensitivity for 2 to 3 months. However, 2 weeks should be ample time for you to sleep on your left side.



Oleh Slupchynskyj, MD, FACS
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 285 reviews

Ear cartilage harvest for rhinoplasty

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The donor site for ear cartilage usually heals very quickly.  I would expect that within six weeks at the most you should not even notice this region.  If you are still unable to sleep on your side by that time, you should see your surgeon again for evaluation.  Good luck, /nsn.

Activity limitations following ear cartilage graft to nose.

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I would ask your surgeon's advice but generally we would recommend that you avoid laying on the ear for approximately 3 weeks following the surgical procedure.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 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.