You might be contemplating otoplasty — also known as ear pinning or cosmetic ear surgery — for your child or even yourself. While it may not be one of the most common plastic surgeries sought by patients in Salt Lake City, UT, it is unquestionably a procedure that can improve one’s quality of life.
For patients with asymmetrical ears, ears that are too large for their head, ears that stick out too far from their head, or ears that have been damaged through an injury, the exciting news is that the otoplasty procedure is relatively straight forward, as is their recovery.
Quite naturally, when planning for this surgery, you would like to know everything about how to ensure the best recovery. During your consultation with Dr. Derrick Gale at Gale Facial Plastics, you’ll learn all you need to know about your otoplasty recovery in Salt Lake City. To get you started, here are five of the most important things you should do:
1. Avoid Touching or Rubbing Your Ears
Your ear surgery will be performed under local anesthesia, which means you will be awake and won’t feel nauseous or groggy upon the completion of your procedure. You’ll be able to function normally immediately afterward. However, you’ll need to avoid touching or rubbing your ears for the first couple of weeks.
It is quite common for incision and stitches to start feeling itchy as the nerves start regenerating, and this is usually a sign that they’re healing. Try to avoid scratching or even touching the incisions, as this could affect your ears’ positioning, damage the incisions, or even delay your recovery.
Please note that if the itchiness accompanies redness, heat, or discharge, notify us immediately as this might be a sign of an infection.
2. Keep Your Head Elevated
To facilitate proper blood flow, your head should be kept elevated as much as possible for the first few weeks after your surgery. Some swelling in the days following the procedure is perfectly normal, and keeping your head raised will help lessen the risk of inflammation and redness.
Always keep a set of comfortable pillows nearby to help support your head in a raised position while resting. When awake, avoid bending over because doing so may also increase the risk of bleeding.
Swelling typically lasts for 1—2 months, with residual swelling lasting for up to six months.
3. Keep Your Head Cool and Dry During Recovery
You’ll initially be required to wear bandages to hold your ears in place. You must keep your head, especially the ears, cool and dry during recovery, and avoid extreme heat from hair dryers or any other heated hair styling appliance. To ease any discomfort from swelling, periodically apply an ice pack (which could be a simple bag of frozen peas) but avoid leaving this on too long to prevent getting frostbite.
4. Avoid Rigorous Activity and Exercise
Even though otoplasty is typically an elective procedure, it’s still major surgery, and your body needs help to recover from it. Avoid rigorous activities such as weightlifting and strenuous exercise. Once you get the go-ahead from Dr. Gale, you’ll be able to resume your regular exercise routine.
5. Maintain a Healthy Diet
Your body requires certain vital nutrients and vitamins, making it essential to maintain a healthy diet during your recovery. Doing so will facilitate a faster and more productive recovery. If you experience difficulty chewing solid foods initially, consider switching to softer foods like nutrient-dense smoothies to help you get the sustenance your body needs.