Children tend to get teased when something about their appearance stands out, such as their ears. As they grow older, this can lead to an increased sense of self-consciousness and embarrassment, resulting in low self-esteem.
Fortunately, people who are bothered by the appearance of their ears can have a procedure called otoplasty performed to reshape their ears in a more aesthetically pleasing way.
If you have decided to undergo ear surgery to improve the appearance of your ears, you may have already begun wondering about how your recovery will go. Although it can take as long as nine weeks to fully recover from an otoplasty procedure, you should be able to resume your normal activities in only about one week.
Here is a timeline of how the typical ear surgery patient recovers from the procedure:
|Activity||# of Days After Otoplasty|
|Shower or Bathe||48 hours after surgery|
|Drive||7 days after surgery|
|Bandages removed||7-10 days after surgery|
|Lift more than 20lbs||14 days after surgery|
|Use headphones||1 month after surgery|
It is normal to experience mild pain and discomfort that is controllable using over-the-counter medications. You’ll probably notice some mild bruising and swelling that can last for a few weeks.
Contact your plastic surgeon if you experience extreme pain or excessive swelling.
You will have received stitches and bandages to close your incision sites. You will be required to continue wearing them for a few days after your ear surgery. Your plastic surgeon will provide you with a complete list of specific instructions when you undergo your procedure.
Do not wear glasses or anything that would come into contact with your ears. You should also avoid any type of activity that could bump or injure your ears, such as wearing headphones, sleeping on your side, or certain types of hair grooming.
The first 24 hours after your ear surgery will leave your ears feeling sore and looking swollen. You may not even notice their appearance, as your ears may be hidden under the dressings applied to them.
First Three Days
You should be experiencing considerably less discomfort by this stage of your recovery. Your swelling should also have significantly subsided.
One Week Later
By this time, you should have noticed a definite improvement in your pain, discomfort and swelling.
You may need to return to your plastic surgeon about one week after your ear surgery to have your stitches removed.
You should also be able to return to work in around one week after your ear surgery, as long as your work activities do not involve anything that is extremely physically demanding. Avoid strenuous physical activity, including sports, until you are cleared by your plastic surgeon.
Two Weeks Later
By two weeks after your surgery, your swelling should be all but gone. Your comfort level will be close to 100 percent. Although you may still notice a bit of lingering swelling, it should gradually subside over the course of the following weeks and months.
Weeks Three to Four
During weeks three and four, you should have noticed that most of your swelling has resolved itself. At this stage, you will probably be checking in with your plastic surgeon so that they can examine your progress and ensure that everything is proceeding normally.
Each individual patient may heal a bit more slowly or rapidly than expected, depending upon factors like age and overall health. Although it could take as long as an entire year to completely heal and recover from your surgery, your ears should be mostly healed and stable long before then, allowing you to experience a welcome boost in your confidence and self-esteem.