Otoplasty Recovery Time

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

Doctor Answers 37

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
4.8 out of 5 stars 155 reviews

Otoplasty Recovery Time

Most patients take one week to recovery from otoplasty surgery. However, any excessive exercise or movement should be avoided for a couple of weeks after surgery to ensure optimal healing. Your surgeon should inform you on any information regarding recovery time. All the best, Dr. Berman MD, FACS

Jonathan Berman, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Otoplasty Montreal Recovery Time

Thank you for your question

At my practice I offer 3 types of anesthesia:
  • Pure local anesthesia, for which an analgesic product is locally injected to ensure the insensitivity of the ears.
  • Local anesthetic by tranquilizers administered intravenously.
  • Classis general anesthesia during which the patient is completely asleep.

The choice between these different techniques will be the result of a discussion between you, the anesthesiologist and myself. Surgery is usually done on an outpatient basis. Your recovery will vary according to what anaesthesia you chose.

Pain is very mild. The dressing will be removed at the end of the first week. The ears will appear swollen and bruised. A hand band will then be worn for two additional weeks. Showering is allowed at the end of the first week. Contact sports must be avoided. Cold hypersensitivity is common for a few months.

A few months of healing are necessary before results are stable. Scars will remain pink for about six months. The new shape of the ear is usually permanent but slight recurrence of the deformity is possible.


Hope this helped. Best of luck,

Otoplasty Recovery

Otoplasty or ear pinning is most typically done on children over the age of 6, but can be done on adults as well.  The procedure takes only about 45 minutes per side, and can be done in the office under local anesthesia in adults and in the operating room under sedation for children.  

The results are quite life-changing for most patients.  Post-operatively, here's what to expect:

  • Typically a compressive bandage is placed at the completion of the surgery
  • Then, a looser dressing is placed for another week.
  • A headband is worn at night while sleeping for the next 4-6 weeks.
  • light head band (like ski band around their ears for one to two weeks.
  • No lifting or carrying anything more than 10 pounds for 2 weeks.
  • No strenuous activity for 2 weeks.
  • The ear must stay dry for one week.
  • Results are very obvious once the dressing is removed, but some swelling can last for 6 weeks or more.
All the best,
Dr. Michelle Yagoda

Michelle R. Yagoda, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

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 190 reviews

Recovery After Ear Surgery

Recovery after ear surgery depends on the problem to be treated, what was done, the skill of you doctor, after surgery care, ear dressing, and other factors best discussed during a consultation. My patients are up and about the day of surgery. Bouncing, bending the head down below the level of the heart, and vigerous activities evolve over time. Patients are usually back to light work the week of surgery. Comfort is the guide nature provides as to what the body can do.

Start by Minimizing Swelling and Bruising
I prefer techniques with minimial swelling and bruising. This is something best demonstrated with pictures at different times after surgery showing the evolution of tissues. Choosing a doctor who shows such pictures will give you a better idea of the typical problem that doctor's sculpture creates.

Continue with Ear Protection
A formal ear dressing after surgery helps protect the ears early after surgery. How long depends on what was done. For a normal ear pinback, this dressing is needed for 1-5 days after surgery. We typically change this dressing the day after surgery and every other day until it is not needed. For some patient, I then use a head band to protect the ears when sleeping. When done right, the maximum swelling occurs the day of surgery.

Patient Education Key
A well informed patient is key to a quick recovery. That is why for our patients we put so much information on the web so they can better understand what surgery offers, limitations after surgery, and other details to make their recovery easier.

Hope this helps.

Michael Bermant, MD (retired)
Virginia Plastic Surgeon

Ear Surgery Recovery

The recovery time varies a little bit based on the extent of the procedure. Oftentimes the dressing is removed the next day and the patient wears at night a soft head band which protects the ears for several weeks to months depending on the type of otoplasty performed. There will be some swelling and bruising the first week or so. The ears are tender for several months. Most patients return to their normal activity in 7-10 days.

Robert W. Sheffield, MD
Santa Barbara Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Otoplasty recovery

Thank you for your question. Recovery time after otoplasty is somewhat variable. Generally speaking, you are relatively social at the 1-2 week mark by which time the associated swelling and bruising is at an acceptable level. By 6 weeks to 3 months, most visible signs of the otoplasty will have subsided. Some tenderness may persist beyond this point but is generally tolerable. A light elastic headband needs to be worn at all times for about 1 week after surgery, and then only at night for 1 month. This is a preventative measure so the ears are not disturbed or traumatized while sleeping. It also aids in assisting the healing process to occur where the ears are positioned. Although light walking can be initiated 24 hours after surgery, aerobic exercising (light, non-contact) should be avoided for 2 weeks and more strenuous activities avoided for 6 weeks. A consultation with an expert in facial plastic surgery with expertise in Otoplasty will allow for proper assessment of your individual needs.

Otoplasty Recovery

Otoplasty recovery is usually very well tolerated. A dressing is in place for the first night following surgery and is removed in the morning of the first post op day. There is commonly mild pain the first night that is well tolerated with standard pain meds. The ears are commonly tender to touch for several weeks. I have my patients where a loose head band for the first week and then at night for an additional week. Sutures are removed in one week and patients can resume normal activities with the exception of vigorous exercise which I like my patients to wait for 3 weeks after surgery.

Bryan W. Rubach, MD
Naperville Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Otoplasty Recovery Time

Most patients can return to work after 3 to 5 days post surgery (depending on the scope of the surgery, the type of work you do, and specifics about you). Most social activities can be resumed after 1 to 2 weeks. Most vigorous activity can be resumed after 4 to 6 weeks. Consult your surgeon as he or she knows 

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 37 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.