Author: Dott.ssa Basile M. Gaetana (Tania)

Date: 10/06/2020

Otoplasty post-op: what should you expect after surgery?

Otoplasty involves cosmetic surgery that improves the appearance, position or proportion of the outer ear.
In addition to cosmetic surgery, you can also have surgery to correct defects in the structure of the ear that have been present since birth or, otoplasty can treat deformed ears due to injuries.


Some facts. In Italy, in 2012, otoplasties accounted for 5% of total plastic surgeries. Average age of patients: between 6 and 8 years old. 
Source: AICPE's survey on the trend of surgery and aesthetic medicine in Italy.

Cosmetic otoplasty: rediscovering the harmony of the face.

Cosmetic otoplasty improves the natural shape of the ears, bringing balance and proportion back to the face.

Cosmetic ear surgery, otoplasty, can:

  • Reduce big ears
  • Reshape the cartilage
  • Increase the size of small ears
  • Reduce or lengthen the lobes, folds and wrinkles of the ear

Who is cosmetic ear surgery, otoplasty, aimed at? 

Otoplasty is a type of surgery for both adults and children.

What happens after otoplasty step by step

On the day of the otoplasty surgery, up to 1 week

  • ·  Immediately after the procedure you'll need someone to help you get home
  • ·  After the surgery you need time to recover from the anaesthesia
  • ·  A bandage is applied after surgery; without complications, it is removed 1 week after surgery

During this period, you should not wash your hair


After 1 week

Usually the surgeon arranges the first check-up 1 week after the otoplasty surgery to make sure everything is going well.

  • School: most children can go back to school 1 or 2 weeks after surgery
  • Work: adults can go back to work about 1 week after surgery. The decision to go back to work is an individual one and depends a lot on both the outcome of the surgery and the type of work.

Months after otoplasty surgery

  • Full recovery could take up to 2 months
  • It is important that the area is not subjected to stress, rubbing or movement during the healing period
  • The area should always be kept clean to avoid infection

After otoplasty surgery: questions and answers

What medications will be prescribed after surgery?

Discomfort and pain immediately after ear surgery is normal. 
Pain can be controlled with painkillers.
Medications to be administered or taken orally to help with healing and reduce the risk of infection are usually recommended by your surgeon.


Will I have to wear dressings / bandages after surgery? When will they be removed?

The bandages will be removed after about 1 week. After otoplasty, the patient's head will be wrapped in a bandage for 1 week after surgery. It may cause itching, but it is essential that the bandages are not removed for any reason. Otherwise, you may damage the correction and may need a second surgery. After surgery the bandages or dressings are used to keep the area protected both from trauma and for hygiene reasons, and to keep the new ear position stable during the initial healing phase.

When will the stitches be removed?

Many plastic surgeons prefer to use resorbable sutures so as not to compromise the work achieved when the suture thread is removed. 
These sutures are made from materials that dissolve in the blood when the wound is completely healed.

When can I resume normal activity and exercise after otoplasty?

All sports and physical activity should be avoided for 6–8 weeks.
Patients should also avoid contact sports for at least 3 months after otoplasty. 
After 2 months all sports activities can be resumed.

In the healing phase you should NOT:

·  Swim: no swimming before 8 weeks after surgery

·  Engage in sports or activities that put your ears at risk of injury

Dott.ssa Basile M. Gaetana (Tania)


Dott.ssa Basile M. Gaetana (Tania)

Medico Chirurgo - N. Iscrizione all' ordine: 8309 - Cosenza

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