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Tips for Recovering From Ear Surgery

Ear surgery, also known as an otoplasty, is a cosmetic surgery designed to alter the size and shape of a patient’s ears. Performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon, an otoplasty is a safe and effective way to restructure your ear and restore a more harmonious balance to your facial features.

Plastic surgeons will recommend ear surgery to patients who have:

  • Protruding ears
  • A defect in the structure of their ear
  • A misshapen ear due to injury
  • A desire to change the position of their ears

At our Kelowna private hospital, we have a team of board-certified plastic surgeons who are skilled and experienced at performing ear and other face surgery to help you safely achieve all your aesthetic goals.


What to Expect From Your Ear Surgery Recovery

An ear surgery is a relatively simple and safe procedure and most often, it’s done on an outpatient basis, meaning that you will not have to stay overnight at the hospital.

However, this cosmetic procedure does have a significant recovery period and while you may be eager to see your new ears, it’s imperative to follow your plastic surgeon’s post-surgical care instructions to ensure the safest, most aesthetically pleasing results.

Immediately after ear surgery

Once your surgery is completed, your ears will be individually covered with small dressings, which are typically worn for one week.

Your plastic surgeon may advise you to wear a tennis headband at nighttime (for at least 2 months) and during any contact sports. This is to prevent your ears from being pushed forward while they’re still setting.

During this recovery period, you should be aware of a number of things including:

  • It’s normal to experience some discomfort following the surgery. While you’re at the hospital, your surgeon may prescribe a mild analgesic such as paracetamol. AVOID ASPIRIN at this time.

  • After 7 days, once your dressings are removed, you may see some bruising and swelling. This is temporary and should resolve within 1-2 weeks. At this time, the improvement in your ears will become apparent.

  • Numbness during the recovery period is common but temporary. The sensation in your ears will eventually return to normal.

  • Some patients may experience a mild infection around the stitch line. In this case, make an appointment with your plastic surgeon. They should be able to resolve it quickly for you.

  • RARE: Occasionally, a small blood vessel will leak after the ear surgery is complete. While very rare, this bleeding may necessitate a return to the hospital theatre.


When can I enjoy my new results?

While you may immediately notice the improvement in the shape and position of your ears, it will take up to 2 months for them to fully ‘set in’ and heal. However, most patients are able to return to work during the first 5-7 days after ear surgery but are advised to avoid contact sports for at least 4 weeks after the procedure.

Have a question about your otoplasty recovery?


Ear Surgery Recovery Tips

When performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon, an ear surgery can produce safe, dramatic results which are incredibly long lasting. However, the recovery period is VERY IMPORTANT for optimal results.

Getting enough rest and following these tips will ensure that your recovery period goes smoothly and quickly as possible:

  1. Avoid bending over or carrying heavy items for at least 3 weeks.
  2. Do not blow your nose hard or play a wind instrument for at least 1 month.
  3. Keep the affected ear dry and avoid hair washing until the external wound has healed.
  4. Avoid swimming until your plastic surgeon tells you it’s safe to do so.
  5. To limit any discomfort, avoid lying or sleeping on the affected side.
  6. Keep your head cool, especially when the bandages are being worn.
  7. Keep your head elevated to minimize swelling (use several pillows to keep you lifted while you sleep.)
  8. Apply any ointment/medicine given to you for your scars to allow them to heal properly and ensure they won’t be visible.
  9. Have patience & realistic expectations of the outcome of your ear surgery.

If you experience any complications or have any questions regarding your recovery, it’s important to speak with your plastic surgeon. They will be able to offer any further advice regarding your specific concerns and needs.

Contact Us

To find out more about the costs, benefits and recovery times of ear surgery, call our Kelowna private hospital today at 250-868-9799 or toll free at 877-505-8895.

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“This has been the easiest, most comfortable, most friendly, calming, warm and safe experience I have ever had in a medical treatment. Compared to previous surgeries at the hospital, this was pure Joy. Happy holidays to the incredible staff at Okanagan Health Surgical Centre with my deepest gratitude.

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