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Post Operative Otoplasty
In the post operative otoplasty stage it is important to follow all after care instructions provided by the surgeon and medical staff that performed the procedure. Because otoplasty surgery is typically performed on younger children, parents and guardians play an important role in post operative otoplasty care. Patients and their parents (if the patient is a young child) should be informed about what to expect in the post operative otoplasty period prior to the surgical procedure. In general, the post operative otoplasty period is a time of normal recovery and complications are rare.
When a patient first arrives home from the surgical procedure, they will need to sleep and rest as much as possible. Small children should be kept at a low level of activity during the first few weeks of the post operative otoplasty period. When sleeping, a patient's head should be supported by two or three pillows in order to keep the head adequately elevated. Patients are also discouraged from sleeping on their sides during the post operative otoplasty period. For the first three weeks of the post operative otoplasty phase, a patient should refrain from unnecessary bending that brings the head below the level of the heart.
During the first week or two of the post operative otoplasty period, a patient will normally experience some swelling, bruising, and possibly some drainage. A surgeon may recommend a topical ointment and a medication called Arnica Montana (SinEcch) to alleviate both swelling and bruising in the post operative otoplasty stage. Pain in the post operative otoplasty period is typically very minor. The ear areas may be a bit sensitive to light and medium pressure for the first few weeks of the post operative otoplasty phase.
When a surgeon performs an otoplasty procedure, s/he will wrap the ear(s) in pressure dressing. This dressing will remain on the treated areas for the first five to seven days of the post operative otoplasty period. During this time, the dressings should not be allowed to get wet. It is important not to manipulate the dressing in any way for the first week of the post operative otoplasty phase, as this can increase the risk of infection and other complications.
After the pressure dressing is removed by the surgeon, usually during a follow up appointment, the patient will be instructed to wear a covering over the ear area at night until the end of the sixth week of the post operative otoplasty period. A thick sweatband usually works best. Some swelling or discoloration may be noticeable at this point in the post operative otoplasty phase, but this is normal and should resolve on its own. A patient is allowed to shower after the dressings have been removed. A doctor may prescribe a topical antibiotic to be used in this part of the post operative otoplasty period.
Patients should be kept calm for the first few weeks, normal exercise can be commenced after four weeks, and contact sports may be okay after six weeks of post operative otoplasty care. If you have questions about the post operative otoplasty period, you may wish to contact a qualified and experienced surgeon who can address your concerns.