Otoplasty Post-Surgery Instructions
Once your surgery is completed, you must follow all the instructions given to you in order to heal properly and have a good outcome.
The following instructions are your obligation. Use this as a checklist of progress as you heal. Included are normal post-surgical experiences and key health considerations that may be a cause of concern.
Normal Post-Operative Symptoms for following nasal injury repair include
- Swollen, red ears. A firm feeling or tingling of the outer ear.
These are normal experiences as the skin, tissues and sensory nerves heal. Pain medication will help you cope with any discomfort.
- Consistent sharp pain should be reported to our office immediately.
- To alleviate any discomfort, and to reduce swelling, you may apply cool (not cold) compresses to your ears.
Do not apply ice or anything frozen directly on the skin. Soak soft plain white washcloths or gauze squares in ice water and wring out well. Apply any compress gently; do not apply any pressure, this could injure ears. Apply cool compresses for no longer than 20-minute intervals. Do not apply any heat.
Call the office immediately if you experience any of the following
- A high fever, (over 101 degrees) severe nausea and vomiting, continued dizziness or incoherent behavior, such as hallucinations.
- Any pain that cannot be controlled by your pain medication.
- Excessive bleeding or fluid seeping from the nose or mouth.
- A severely misshapen appearance, excessive bruising or fluid retention that is localized to the side of your face or nose.
You may be wearing a dressing, ace wrap or similar compression around your head to support your ears as they begin to heal in their new position and/or shape. Follow the directions you are given explicitly for wearing this dressing.
It is important that dressing not be removed or dislodged for any reason, except with explicit instructions from the doctor. Doing so may significantly impair the outcome of your procedure.
Day of surgery instructions
You will only be released to the care of a responsible adult. All of these instructions must be clear to the adult who will monitor your health and support you.
- Rest, but not bed rest
While rest is important in the early stages of healing, equally important is that you are ambulatory: meaning that you are walking under your own strength. Spend 10 minutes every 2 hours engaged in light walking indoors as your recover.
- Recline, do not lie down
This will be more comfortable for you, and can reduce swelling. Always keep your head elevated. Do not bend forward or over.
- Good nutrition
Fluids are critical following surgery. Stick to non-carbonated, non-alcoholic, caffeine-free and green tea-free beverages including fruit juices and water, milk and yogurt drinks. You must consume at least 8 ounces of fluid every 2 hours. Stick with soft, bland, nutritious food for the first 24 hours.
- Take all medication, exactly as prescribed
Oral pain medication, antibiotics and other medications.
- Wound care may be required
You may be instructed to remove any dressing or compression to care for wounds. Do not remove any steri-strips or crusting near your stitches. Apply ointment as directed. Immediately replace any dressing or compression as directed.
- Do not smoke
Smoking can greatly impair your safety prior to surgery and you ability to heal following surgery. You must not smoke.
Do not engage in any stressful activities. Let others tend to you.
Two To Seven Days Following Surgery
During this time you will progress with each day that passes. Ease into your daily activities. You will receive clearance to begin return to school or work at your post-operative visit.
- Practice daily sun protection
An SPF 30 is essential regardless of the weather or your activities.
- You may shower as needed. You must follow all the instructions your are given for compression, dressings and wound care
- Apply skincare cautiously
Do not use glycolics, retinoids or other potentially irritating skincare products until you receive clearance to do so.
- Take antibiotic medications and supplements as directed
Take pain medication only as needed. You may wish to switch from prescriptive pain medication to acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
- Continue to keep your head elevated, including when sleeping
- Do not resume any exercise other than regular walking
Walking is essential every day to prevent the formation of blood clots.
- Maintain a healthy diet. Do not smoke. Do not consume alcohol.
One To Four Weeks Following Surgery
As you resume your normal daily activities, you must continue proper care and healing.
- Refrain from direct sun exposure
If you are outdoors, apply at least an SPF 30 at least 30 minutes prior to sun exposure and wear a hat. Your facial skin is highly susceptible to sunburn or the formation of irregular, darkened pigmentation.
- Do not smoke
Smoking deprives your body of necessary oxygen that can result in poorly healed, wide, raised scars.
- You may begin sleep in a modified reclining position
However do not sleep lying flat or on your stomach. If you are a side sleeper, two pillows under your head may offer more comfort.
Six weeks following surgery
Healing will progress; swelling continues to diminish.
- Bruising, discomfort or tightness will continue to improve
- You may ease into your regular fitness routine
However, if you are going to engage in any contact sports you must wear proper protection.
- No need to resume smoking
You have now gone 10 weeks (4 weeks prior to surgery and 6 weeks following) without a cigarette. For your long-term health, there is no need to resume smoking
Your first year
Your appearance will continue to refine
It may take a year for all swelling to resolve and for your nasal appearance to settle to a final outcome. Nasal injury repair is the most intricate of plastic surgery procedures and healing is often unpredictable as delicate nasal bones may shift in healing. The outcomes may not be as expected. In some cases a secondary procedure may be recommended to refine your outcomes.
Your appearance will change with age
Like any facial feature, your nose can change as you age. Call us at any time with any of your questions or concerns.