Can Wearing a Tighter Headband Following Otoplasty (Ear Pinning) Affect Cosmetic Results?

I've been wearing a soft, wide headband as instructed following otoplasty procedure (having had dressings removed). I was told it needn't be too tight and was just supposed to gently hold the ears down. I noticed that my ears seem further back when I first take it off and they seem to move forward a bit after say 20-30 minutes (removed to shower/wash hair). Would a tighter headband help keep the ears back more and affect the final results, or would it not really have bearing? Thank you!

Doctor Answers 2

Does A Headband After Otoplasty Ultimately Keep The Ears Closer To The Head?

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Wow.  This is a great question.  To some extent, it depends on how the otoplasty was done in the first place.  If a Mustarde stitch was placed, a tight headband could injure the cartilage and cause the stitch to fail.  If the Stenstrum otobrasion was done, a tight headband again could decrease the fold of the ear.  If Furnas stitches were applied, it might help things.  Sorry for the doctor words in the previous couple of sentences, but what I am saying here is that overall, the answer depends on what your surgeon did, and your surgeon is the right one to ask the question, "should I wear the headband tighter or not?". 

Headbands after otoplasty

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Headbands serve several purposes after otoplasty.  These include:

  • Protect ears from outside trauma
  • Encourage healing in a proper position
  • Counteract postauricular edema which can serve to protrude ears forward


An ideal headband would be sufficiently tight to hold ears in place without placing too much tension on the ears.

Anil R. Shah, MD
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 172 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.