How Long Does It Take To Recover From Ear Surgery?

Many people don’t give their ears much thought and have never worried about their appearance. But for some, large or protruding ears are a significant source of distress. Children especially may face teasing and bullying because of their prominent ears. If you or your child are concerned about large or misshapen ears, ear surgery at Specialty Aesthetic Surgery can help.

What is Ear Surgery?

Ear surgery, also known as otoplasty, is a cosmetic procedure that alters the shape, size, and position of the ears. Sometimes called “ear pinning,” this surgery is often used to correct protruding ears and “pin” them closer to the head. Ear surgery is frequently performed on children, as the ears finish developing at a young age and can be a source of emotional distress if they are overly prominent. 

Ear surgery can be used to address a wide range of issues, including ears that are:

  • Overly large
  • Prominent or stick out too far
  • Misshapen
  • Damaged by trauma, such as cauliflower ears

Ear Surgery Procedure

The ear surgery procedure involves making an incision behind the ear to access the cartilage. Your surgeon will then reshape and remove cartilage to achieve the desired result. Once the cartilage has been reshaped, they will stitch the incision closed. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia and typically takes between one and two hours to complete, depending on the extent of the surgery.

How Long is Recovery After Ear Surgery?

The recovery period for ear surgery can vary depending on the individual, the extent of the surgery, and how well the patient follows post-operative care instructions. In general, most patients should expect to take about a week off from work or school to recover from the surgery. Full healing can take several weeks.

During the first few days after surgery, patients can expect to experience some discomfort, swelling, and bruising around the ears. We will prescribe pain medication for the first few days, and Tylenol can be used to manage any discomfort after that. Your ears will be bandaged after the procedure, and you may need to return to have the sutures removed after a week.

Most patients will be able to return to their normal daily activities after about a week, although they should still avoid any strenuous activities that could potentially cause damage to the ears. It is also important for patients to avoid any activities that require them to wear a helmet or headband for at least four to six weeks after the surgery.

Otoplasty Recovery Tips

To ensure a smooth and successful recovery after ear surgery, it is important to follow all post-operative care instructions provided by your surgeon. Some helpful tips to keep in mind include:

  • Keep the incision area clean and dry to avoid infection
  • Sleep on your back with your head elevated to avoid putting pressure on your ears
  • Don’t wear collars or other clothing that can rub against your ears
  • Use ice packs as instructed to reduce swelling
  • Get plenty of rest for the first week after surgery
  • Avoid smoking or being around smokers, as smoking can delay the healing process
  • Avoid drinking alcohol for at least a week after the surgery, as alcohol can increase swelling and bruising
  • Refrain from strenuous activities and heavy lifting for at least two weeks after the surgery
  • Wear a protective headband as directed by your surgeon to help hold the ears in place and promote healing
  • Stay hydrated and eat a healthy diet to promote healing and reduce inflammation

Results of Ear Surgery

The results of ear surgery can be seen immediately after the surgery, although it may take several weeks or months for the swelling and bruising to completely subside. Once the swelling has gone down, patients can expect to see a noticeable improvement in the shape, size, and position of their ears.

Most patients are very happy with the results of their ear surgery and report feeling more confident and self-assured after the procedure. Ear surgery is permanent, so you’ll never have to worry about your ears again.

Am I a Good Candidate for Ear Surgery?

Ear surgery can be life-changing for patients that experience embarrassment or harassment because of their ears. Healthy patients of almost any age with large, protruding, or misshapen ears are candidates for otoplasty. Children can have ear surgery as soon as the ears are finished developing, typically by age five. During a detailed consultation, one of our expert surgeons will help you determine if ear surgery is the right choice for you or your child.

Take the Next Step – Request a Consultation

Want to learn more about facelifts? Schedule your consultation online or by calling Specialty Aesthetic Surgery at (212) 737-8700. We look forward to working with you!

Specialty Aesthetic Surgery serves the greater NYC metro area.

About Our Surgeons

Bruce Moskowitz is an experienced oculoplastic surgeon. His practice encompasses all areas of oculoplastic cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. He has a well-known reputation for revision surgery, and a large portion of his practice comes from other colleagues to revise sub-optimal outcomes.

Grigoriy Mashkevich is an experienced and double-board certified facial plastic surgeon. He belongs to a highly select group of surgeons with a focused specialization in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery of the nose, face, and neck. 

Dr. Anna Frants is a board-certified facial plastic surgeon who is experienced in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. Her areas of surgical specialty include the face, neck, nose, eyelids, eyebrows, and ears. 

*Individual results may vary. 

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