Recovery from otoplasty or ear reshaping surgery is often less strenuous than with other cosmetic surgery procedures. However, patients should still take certain steps to help recovery go smoothly and reduce the risk of complications. Before seeing the results of the procedure, follow the doctor’s instructions and consider the tips listed below.
Don’t Rub or Touch the Ears
Most ear surgery options are done with local anesthesia, which means patients won’t feel nauseous or groggy when it’s done. While a patient will be able to return to normal function right after the surgery, they should be careful not to excessively touch their ears for the first few weeks. This keeps the ears in the right position and prevents damage to the incisions, which can delay recovery.
Wear the Headband as Directed
Immediately after the procedure, bulky dressings are used to cover the ears. Up to a week later, these dressings are removed and replaced with a wide headband that completely covers the ears. The headband protects the ears and keeps them in position, and most patients need to wear it all day, every day for about a week.
Abstain From Smoking
Smoking or being around secondhand smoke can inhibit recovery from ear surgery. Irregular scarring, poor healing, and longer recovery can all occur. Patients should avoid secondhand smoke and smoking for no less than two weeks after a procedure.
Don’t Worry About Discharge
The first seven days after surgery, it’s quite common for the ears to drain some fluid. If this happens, the patient may use hydrogen peroxide and a cotton swab to clean the outside part of the ear. If there’s excessive drainage, call the surgeon at once.
Elevate the Head for at Least Two Weeks
Some swelling is normal during the recovery process, but patients can minimize swelling by keeping their heads elevated during sleep. During waking hours, patients should refrain from bending over as it can increase bleeding risk. In most cases, swelling lasts for approximately two months, with residual swelling disappearing within six months.
Don’t Scratch Incisions
It’s common for incisions to itch after a procedure; it indicates healing and nerve regeneration. While it’s uncomfortable, patients should try not to scratch the incision lines. However, if itchiness comes with heat, discharge, or redness, call the doctor, as it may be a sign of an infection. Visit Plassurg.co.nz or call the Auckland Plastic Surgical Centre today for more details on cosmetic surgery options.