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Recovering from Cosmetic Ear Surgery: What to Expect
Jul 2, 2023
If you’re not happy with your ears, you’re in luck, because you have several surgical options that can give you a more balanced, less obtrusive look.
Dr. Kiran Polavarapu at Polavarapu Plastic Surgery in Fort Worth, Texas, specializes in otoplasty and uses advanced techniques to reposition and reshape ears that are too small, too big, or stick out too far from your head. You can read more about ear surgery, but in this blog post, Dr. Polavarapu focuses on the recovery process, because what you do and don’t do after your cosmetic ear surgery makes a big difference in the outcome.
Tips for a successful recovery from cosmetic ear surgery
Often, Dr. Polavarapu uses a local anesthetic during cosmetic ear surgery, which means you’ll be awake but comfortable throughout the procedure. If she opts for general anesthesia, as she often does for children, you can expect to feel groggy for the rest of the day, and you’ll need someone to drive you home. But, once you get there, you’re in the driver’s seat of your recovery. Here’s what to do.
Follow post-op instructions
Before you leave our office, we give you detailed written and verbal instructions so you know exactly what to expect and what to do. It’s important to take those instructions seriously, as they give your ears the best chance at a successful recovery. But everyone is different, and you may experience concerns that others don’t. If so, call us.
Keep your head up
As part of the healing process, your body naturally sends blood and other fluids to the site of your ear surgery, which means you can expect some swelling for the next few days. You can reduce the inflammation and prevent it from worsening by keeping your head elevated. A few extra pillows on your bed or sofa should do the trick.
Mind your bandages
Immediately after closing your incisions, Dr. Polavarapu wraps your ears and head in large gauze bandages that will feel bulky and obtrusive. These wraps are necessary to keep your newly formed ears in the right position as they heal, so keep them in place until we replace them with smaller bandages in a few days.
Take your medications
Otoplasty is a fairly straightforward, routine surgery — surgeons perform about 55,000 a year in the United States — but it still requires incisions, which can hurt. Most people report throbbing and aching for a few days after cosmetic ear surgery, so we prescribe pain medication to keep you comfortable.
Wear the right clothing
The first few days and weeks following your cosmetic ear surgery are critical to the outcome, so you’ll have to avoid disturbing them during that time. Wearing shirts that button or zip instead of pullovers helps.
What not to do after cosmetic ear surgery
Most of our cosmetic ear surgery patients go back to work, school, and their daily lives as usual about five days after the procedure. However, depending on what’s usual for you, you may need to make a few adjustments to your routine. Here are the don’ts of post-cosmetic ear surgery:
- Don’t smoke; it hinders healing
- Don’t participate in strenuous activities for about a month
- Don’t shampoo your hair for a week
- Don’t rub, touch, or bump your ears
Following these simple tips will give you the best chance at the best results. If you have questions or concerns during your recovery, call us at 817-615-8576, or use our online scheduler to book an appointment. Your post-op care is as important to us as the surgery itself, so don’t hesitate to contact us at Polavarapu Plastic Surgery.