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Ear, Nose and Throat

Recovery Time of Otoplasty – Ear Surgery | Procedure & Risks

By Bella James | Updated: Monday, 16 November 2020 14:46 UTC
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Recovery Time of Otoplasty
Recovery Time of Otoplasty

Learn everything about Otoplasty – Ear Surgery in this article. We have discussed everything from the procedure to complications associated with it.

Everyone deserves to look and feel their best. We love to be in perfect shape and have all our body parts intact. Unfortunately, some people are either born with a defected body part or they damage it in an accident. It could be any part of our bodies, from eyes to toes. But, we are here to talk about reconstructing one body part and that is the ear. To reconstruct the external ear an Otoplasty – ear surgery is performed. It is beneficial for those who want to improve the shape of their ears, both in function and appearance.

In this article, we have shared everything you need to know about ear surgery. We have discussed in detail the procedure, recovery period, and risks involved in the procedure.

What is Otoplasty – ear surgery?

It is a surgical procedure that involves adjusting the size, shape, and position of ears. It is essentially performed to reform the protruding ears. Most people are bothered by how far their ears stick out, so they choose to undergo this procedure.

Otoplasty – ear surgery can help reconstruct a deformed, defected, or absent external ear. This could be a result of congenital conditions or trauma. However, it is important to note that ear surgery can not alter hearing ability. Moreover, it cannot change the location of the ears.

This procedure can be performed at any age but doctors usually prefer children over 5 years. By this age, the ears have fully grown and are at their full size.

Why do people undergo Otoplasty?

The major reason for undergoing ear surgery is to enhance the appearance of ears. People generally undergo this procedure for the following reasons:

  • Their ears stick too far out from their heads.
  • The ears are disproportionate to the head.
  • Results of a previous ear surgery were dissatisfactory.
  • They want to optimize the symmetry of both ears.

Preparing for the Ear Surgery

On the day of your treatment, make sure you follow the instructions given by your doctor.

Some important points to keep in mind on the day of the surgery are as follows:

  1. Check in the facility on time.
  2. Bring all important documents like initial consultation session records and other medical history papers.
  3. Wear comfortable clothes. They should not be too tight and button-downs are preferred.
  4. Do not wear any jewelry.
  5. Remove any makeup or cream.
  6. Wash your face with soap and water.
  7. Avoid taking any medication a day before the surgery except instructed otherwise.

Otoplasty Procedure

As the procedure is not entirely non-invasive, you will be given anesthesia. Your blood pressure, pulse, pulse oximeter, and heart rate are continuously monitored during the procedure. Usually, four people are inside the room beside the patient. Those include the doctor, the anesthesiologist, a nurse, and a surgical technician.

There are several ways of performing surgery. The most common method is the one where the surgeon cuts out the cartilage of the ear. In another method, the surgeon folds and stitches the cartilage instead of cutting it away.

In both methods, an incision is made at the back of the ear. This allows access to the cartilage. Once the surgery completes, the surgeon will sew the incision site with sutures.

Recovery Timeline for Otoplasty – Ear Surgery

The recovery period of Otoplasty follows a particular timeline. This timeline is as follow:

  1. After a few days, the bandages are removed.
  2. The patient can resume routine activities after one week.
  3. After a week, patients can return to work/school.
  4. For a few weeks, patients need to wear a headband.
  5. In about six weeks, patients are fully recovered.

Tips for Ear Surgery Recovery

Following some instructions can help patients recover quickly and smoothly after ear surgery.

Some important tips for recovery are given below:

  • No rigorous activities until complete recovery
  • Avoid extreme heat and keep the head cool
  • No shampooing for the first week after surgery
  • Keep the head elevated while sleeping or resting
  • Don’t sleep on your side
  • Use only the prescribed medicines
  • Stay calm and have patience
  • Visit the doctor immediately in case of emergency

Risks Associated with Otoplasty

Since it is a surgical procedure, there are risks associated with it, as well.

Some of the most common complications associated with Otoplasty – ear surgery are:

  1. Swelling
  2. Infection
  3. Inflammation and redness
  4. Bleeding
  5. Scarring or Keloid formation
  6. Hematoma
  7. Numbness
  8. Severe pain
  9. Suture extrusion
  10. Unnatural results

When should you visit your doctor?

Ear surgery poses some risks but they usually subside on their own. The doctor also provides a recovery kit when the patients leave the clinic. This recovery kit has pain relievers that can be used to minimize discomfort.

However, if the condition remains the same for more than a few days or it worsens, then patients must consult their doctors.

The patient must visit their doctor if they experience at least one of the following conditions:

  1. They have a persistent fever higher than 101.5 degrees F.
  2. The patient experiences a sharp and severe pain that doesn’t go away with the help of any medicine.
  3. The patient suffers from wound drainage.
  4. If the swelling or redness around the ears keeps increasing, the patient should see their doctor.


Although Otoplasty – ear surgery poses certain temporary risks, it is a safe procedure. Moreover, the results it provides are enough for undergoing this procedure. If you are bothered by your protruding ears, then find a reliable surgeon and get them reformed.

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