How Long to Wear Headband After an Otoplasty That Involved Cartilage Excision?

I had cartilage excised from both of my ears and had the ears attached with permanent sutures to the head. My surgeon said that I should wear the headband for a month and I've been wearing it 24/7 for 3 weeks, with the exception of a handful of days. Do you think I could switch to night time wear only at this point without affecting the healing or the results?

Doctor Answers 13

Otoplasty Headband

It is best that you follow your surgeon's own advise as he is the one that performed the procedure.

We all have our specific protocols of what works for our patients.  I ask that my patients wear their head bands for 2 weeks after surgery for most of the day.  This can be removed for breaks and showering.  After the 2 weeks are over, I recommend to my patients that the head band be worn at night and whenever performing any strenuous physical activity. This is to protect the ears from being pulled or tugged. 

Compliance with the post operative procedures is essential to ensuring permanency to the otoplasty results.

Boca Raton Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Wear Headband Dressing for 2-5 Days 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.  This approach is associated with high success rates and a low incidence of recurrence.

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Otoplasty recovery and wearing the head band how long and when

I usually suggest people to wear the head band 24 hours for the first 7 days after their procedure. After this I suggest wearing the head band at night for the next 2 months. You get 60'% of your healing the first 6 weeks and then 90% approximately at 6 months. The headband really doesn't pin your ears back it is the surgery that does this.

Philip Young, MD
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 84 reviews



Thank you for your question.

I agree with the other doctors that it is best to consult with your
board certified plastic surgeon and follow his instructions. Wearing
the headband is crucial for the healing process and will benefit you
in the long run.

Good Luck!

Dr. Sam Speron

Sam Speron, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Duration of wearing a Headband after Ooplasty (Ear Pinning)

After shaping the ear cartilage with stitches the shape will ultimately be held by the scar tissue splint which forms after surgery. The reason for wearing the headband s to keep the ear in place as the scar tissue increasingly holds and secures it in place. All of us have more or less similar protocols on headband splinting of the ears but the only one whse opinion matters is your surgeon. I do not think it is proper for surgeons other than your surgeon to manage your postoperative care as long as he is your surgeon. Please do as he asks and you will be glad you did. 

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

Headband after Otoplasty

After otoplasty, it is important to wear the headband to protect your ears.  Without having you as a patient, it is impossible and also inappropriate for us to commend on or contradict what your surgeon suggested.  If you are having a problem with your headband, then you should address this with your surgeon.  If you post before and after pictures, we may be able to commend further.


Good Luck.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Headband Use Following Otoplasty

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 especially in light of the fact that he will know best specific to your individual surgery

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Headband after otoplasty

Good question. Since the most common complication of otoplasty is recurrence of the prominenet ear deformity, I am very strict with my patients about the headband. I remove the dressings postoperative day 1 to check for hematoma, have the patients change the dressings themselves for the first week, and wear a headband for 6 weeks.

Jacob Freiman, MD, FACS
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 267 reviews

Protecting Ears after Otoplasty

Otoplasty surgery helps reshape cartilage of the ear. Each surgeon has their own protocol, which may vary a bit. Typically, most plastic surgeons want the ears to be protected for a period of time after surgery. The first week is the most important. Only your otoplasty surgeon can help answer your specific question. Best of luck.

Dr. Chaboki


Houtan Chaboki, MD
Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 85 reviews

How long to wear a headband after otoplasty

There are a lot of different protocols when it comes to aftercare following otoplasty. I would listen to your surgeon as that's who knows your situation best. It's hard to know whether you would have any different result if you were to just wear the headband at night at this point, but why risk affecting your results?

Thomas A. Lamperti, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 21 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.