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Otoplasty Post Operative Care

Leaving the hospital

  • You will need to have somebody collect you from the hospital and take you home. Most patients will go home on the same day.
  • Children will usually stay one night hospital.
  • You will be given a prescription for paracetamol, oxycodone and an antibiotic.

Wound care:

  • Following your surgery a dressing will be placed over your ears and wrapped around your head. This will be left in place for about a week. It can feel firm. This is important as it is preventing bruising and bleeding.
  • The new ear shape is held together with strong sutures but initially these can be fragile. Avoid bumping the head dressing.
  • After surgery your tissues will react with swelling and a feeling of tightness, this will be responsible for the discomfort you may feel as well as the numbness of your ears. The incision will be tender for some time.
  • There will be some swelling and bruising of the ears. This will settle down over a couple of weeks.
  • Following the removal of your dressing in the office after about a week, you can gently apply Bacitracin antibiotic ointment twice daily with a Q-tip to your suture line behind each ear. This is an antibiotic ointment that can be purchased at any pharmacy without a prescription. There may be some itching, do not rub your incision as there is the risk of pulling open the incisions.


  • Immediately after surgery begin with liquids and light foods gradually progressing to a normal diet

Tips for comfort:

  • No work, exercise, sport or any activity likely to raise your blood pressure for the first 7 days. You may do some gentle walking in the second week only.
  • Use the pain relief (in particular the paracetamol) regularly. Do not let pain build up significantly before taking the pain relief. It is then more difficult to control.
  • You may bathe 48 hours after your surgery – do not get your head dressing wet as it will fall off. A bath is advised rather than a shower.
  • You may wash your face gently with warm water and a mild soap. Carefully pat dry. Do not get your head dressing wet.
  • Do not wear earrings for at least two weeks following surgery.

You can download a .pdf version of this information here – Otoplasty post-op

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