Otoplasty Postoperative Instructions FAQ

1) What do I look like when I wake up from surgery?
Following the procedure, you will have a snug dressing wrapped around your head covering your ears and keeping them in place. Because your ears are covered you will not notice the swelling and bruising. When the dressing is removed at the first postoperative appointment on the next day following surgery, you may notice some bruising and swelling at that time.

2) What does it feel like when I wake up from surgery?
You will feel the snug dressing around your ears. Hearing may be diminished while the dressing is intact. We will make sure you are not nauseated or queasy. Our nurses will be right there with you as you wake up from surgery to give you special attention.

3) When I’m awake enough, can I drive myself home?
No. Someone will need to drive you home after your surgery and stay with you that evening. Someone will need to drive you back to the office the following morning for packing removal.

4) Does someone have to stay overnight with me after surgery?
Yes. You must arrange ahead of time for a responsible adult to stay with you the first night following surgery.

5) Will I need any special prescriptions following surgery?
Yes. Postoperative prescriptions are provided well in advance of surgery day so you arrive home completely prepared. Postoperative prescriptions and over-the-counter medications for otoplasty patients include the following:
A) An antibiotic (usually Amoxicillin) to take after surgery to prevent infection.
B) Pain medication to minimize any discomfort following surgery.
C) Swelling medication minimizes swelling.
D) Peroxide and antibiotic ointment to place on the incision after the dressing is removed.
E) Vitamin C daily with food daily for one week following surgery.

6) When do I start taking these prescriptions?
Patients take their pain medication as needed. You will begin the antibiotic and swelling medications when you arrive home from surgery.

7) How long will bruising and swelling last?
For most patients, bruising and swelling lasts about a week. If you bruise easily, it could last up to two weeks, however, this is uncommon.

8) Can I do anything to prevent bruising?
Most patents will have a little bruising. Just let us know if you have a history of bruising easily.

9) Are there any dietary restrictions following surgery?
No. Patients can eat whatever they want. Advance your diet from liquids to soft food to solids as tolerated. Please drink as much fluid as you can which will help you from becoming dehydrated.

10) When can I shower?
The head dressing must remain dry and in place overnight following surgery. Therefore, you should not shower until after the dressing is removed. You may take a bath any time following dressing removal and may wash hair three days postoperatively.

11) When is my first postoperative appointment?
You will be asked to come to the the next day following surgery for dressing removal. Your second appointment will be at one week following surgery for suture removal. Most patients describe suture removal as discomfort rather than pain.

12) Are there any instructions about regular daily activities?
Sleep with head of the bed elevated or use two to three pillows. Facial fullness and disrupted sleep are very normal postoperative symptoms and will decrease as the healing process occurs. Absolutely no bending, lifting or straining for one week. If you have little children, bend at the knees or sit on the floor and let them climb on to your lap.

13) When will I look normal?
Most of our patients tell us that they look “normal” at about ten days postoperatively. You will still notice swelling and your final result is still a ways off. However, at two weeks you know you are well on the way to recovery.

14) How long does healing take?
Healing from otoplasty to evaluate the final result takes one full year. However, after two to three months, most patients have about 90% of their final result.

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