Otoplasty patient information
- Starting Now
- The Day Before Your Surgery
- The Morning of Surgery
- Facial Products
- Immediately After Surgery
- Dressings & Headband
- What To Expect
- Contacting Dr. Zevon
- Post-Operative Clothing
- Activity Restrictions
- Herbal Remedies
- Post-Operative Appointments
- Recovery Time
- Resuming Normal Activities
- Exposure To Sunlight
- Exposure To Cold Weather
Please read and familiarize yourself with these instructions. By following them carefully you will assist in obtaining the best possible result from your ear surgery. If questions arise, do not hesitate to communicate with Dr. Zevon and discuss your questions at any time. Re-read the General Instructions for Cosmetic Surgery Dr. Zevon gave you.
Locate your Personal Information Sheet and complete it so that Dr. Zevon’s office will know who will escort you home after your ear surgery and where you plan to spend the night of your otoplasty surgery. Bring it to your pre-operative appointment, or telephone, e-mail or fax the information to us. If you cannot locate it, let us know so that we can provide you with another.
Make sure you have a soft pillow for sleeping after your ear surgery. If you wear glasses, make sure they do not press tightly against your temples. You can loosen them yourself, or bring them to an optometrist to loosen them to wear while you are healing.
The Day Before Your Surgery
Washing: In the evening, wash your face and ears with anti-bacterial soap. Do not apply any moisturizers or other products to your head afterward.
Unless you are having local anesthesia, NOTHING TO EAT OR DRINK AFTER MIDNIGHT.
If your ear surgery is in the afternoon or if you are having local anesthesia, check with us as to what or when you may eat or drink before ear surgery.
The Morning of Your Surgery
Washing: Shower and wash your face and ears again with anti-bacterial soap. Do not apply any moisturizers or other products to your head afterward.
Do not wear any make-up, and do not apply any moisturizers, sunscreens, or anything else on your face, head or neck. No hairspray or perfume.
Do not wear clothing that goes on over your head. Wear tops with front closures such as buttons or zippers, bottoms that are easy to pull on, and comfortable shoes. You may also bring a scarf or hat to wear after your ear surgery to camouflage your appearance.
Immediately After Surgery
Rest: When you arrive home, be prepared to rest in bed for the first 24 hours after otoplasty surgery. Keep your head upright as much as possible to minimize swelling and discomfort. Use 2 soft pillows under your head. If you feel nauseated, lie on your back and remain still. Do not lie on your sides. Any sensation of nausea should pass by the morning after your otoplasty ear surgery. If you feel fine, you may eat lightly and drink to replenish your body fluids. You may go to the bathroom with assistance as needed. Light activity will not harm you.
Take the antibiotics and pain medication prescribed by Dr. Zevon according to the pharmacy instructions. Don’t take the pain medication on an empty stomach, as this will produce nausea and vomiting. Have another adult give you the pain medication at the correct time and/or keep written records of how much you take and when you take it. You do not have to take the pain medicine if you are not in pain, but you must take all of your antibiotics. Do not drive while taking pain medication.
Dressings & Headband
Your head will be wrapped in a bandage after your otoplasty ear surgery to promote the best molding and healing. Keep the bandage dressing clean and dry. In a few days, Dr. Zevon will replace the surgical dressing with a lighter head dressing similar to a headband. Follow Dr. Zevon’s instructions for wearing the dressing, especially at night. Most otoplasty patients wear the headband for 6-8 weeks after ear surgery while they are sleeping and during sports activities.
What To Expect
- Throbbing or aching ears (take pain medication);
- Moderate swelling;
- Bruising (black and blue discoloration); and
- Moderate bleeding from wound edges.
- You have severe pain not responding to pain medication;
- You have marked swelling, or obviously more swelling on one side than the other (if surgery is bilateral); or
- You have excessive bleeding.
DON’T TAKE CHANCES! Call if you are concerned about anything you consider significant. During office hours, call 212.496.6600. After hours, call 917.612.3800.
Ice packs or cold packs control swelling, bruising and pain. Apply ice bags, ice packs, or ice wrapped in a towel for 10 minutes at a time.
For the first week after your otoplasty ear surgery, do not pull on clothing over your head-wear clothing with front closure buttons or zippers.
You may wash your hair with mild shampoo and gentle water pressure three days after your ear surgery (not counting the day of surgery.) Do not pull your ears away from your head. Dry your hair with a towel or a blow dryer on the cool setting. Do not use a blow dryer on the warm or hot settings or sit under a hot hair dryer.
Avoid any activity in which your ears might be bent for about a month. Keeping your head elevated as much as possible when you are resting or sleeping will minimize swelling and discomfort. Sleep on a soft pillow. You can use 2 or 3 pillows if you are comfortable. Do not lie on your sides for 7 to 10 days after otoplasty ear surgery. Do not wear tight glasses with temple pieces that press against the area around your ears. Do not smoke for 48 hours after your ear surgery to prevent coughing and possible bleeding. Do not drink alcohol for 5 days after otoplasty ear surgery, or while you are taking pain medication. Alcohol dilates the blood vessels and could increase bleeding. The combination of pain medication and alcohol is dangerous. Do not sit in the sun or heat for 4 weeks to avoid swelling. You may drive a car with power steering after 3 days.
Some otoplasty ear surgery patients report that arnica contributes to a reduction in bruising or swelling, resulting in reduced discomfort and edema, and improved healing. Ask us if you wish assistance in locating a source of arnica. Take arnica orally according to manufacturer’s instructions on the packaging.
It is important to see Dr. Zevon as scheduled after ear surgery. The first post-operative appointment will be 2 or 3 days after the ear surgery at which time your sutures will be removed. The second post-operative appointment will be in a week to 10 days. Check your post-operative instructions for your first appointment. If you don’t have an appointment, call 212.496.6600, tell the receptionist the date you had surgery and she will schedule your post-operative appointment. At each post-operative appointment, Dr. Zevon will advise you how soon the next one should be scheduled.
INITIAL: 1 to 2 weeks
SUBSTANTIAL: 2 to 3 months
Resuming Normal Activities
Follow the plan you and Dr. Zevon have agreed upon.
Avoid contact sports and other strenuous activity for 4 weeks. Dr. Zevon will give you permission to increase your activities according to the progress of your recovery and your overall fitness level. Wear the headband during sports for 6 to 8 weeks after ear surgery.
Exposure To Sunlight & Heat
Avoid prolonged exposure to sun, sun lamps and/or heat for 4 weeks. For 3 to 6 months after surgery, your ears may turn pink and swell in hot weather. Scars take at least one year to fade to their greatest extent. During this time, it is advisable to protect them from the sun. Cover your scars with a hat, and/or use a high SPF sunscreen. We carry sunscreens suitable for post-surgery patients.
Exposure To Cold Weather
Protect your ears from cold weather by wearing a scarf or a hat, as you may not feel extremely cold temperatures due to temporary numbness after ear surgery.