The goal of your plastic surgeon and the entire staff is to make your surgical experience as easy and
comfortable for you as possible. If you are a smoker, it is recommended to stop smoking well in advance of surgery since smoking can impair the healing process. Aspirin and certain anti-inflammatory drugs can cause increased bleeding, so you should avoid taking these medications for a period of time before surgery. Your surgeon will provide you with additional preoperative instructions. Aesthetic ear surgery is usually performed on an outpatient basis. If this is the case, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home after surgery and to stay with you for the next 24 hours.
The Day of Ear Surgery
Prominent ear surgery is usually performed in a hospital. Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure. Frequently, local anesthesia and intravenous sedation are used for patients undergoing ear surgery, although general anesthesia may be desirable in some instances (especially young children). For your safety during the operation, various monitors are used to check your heart, blood pressure, pulse and the amount of oxygen circulating in your blood. When surgery is completed, you will be taken into a recovery area where you will continue to be closely monitored. You will be instructed to inform your caretaker if the dressings feel too tight. There is surprisingly little discomfort, however, from the surgery, especially if the ears are in a head dressing. You probably will be permitted to go home after a short period of observation, although some patients may stay overnight in the hospital or surgical facility.
Recovery from Ear Surgery
It is important to realize that the amount of time it takes for recovery varies greatly among individuals. The first several days you should maintain head elevation as much as possible. Remember, you must not take aspirin or certain anti-inflammatory medications. Initially, pain is usually controlled with oral medication. Some patients find that mild swelling persist for many weeks. Bruising typically disappears within seven to ten days. Stitches are usually removed within a week of surgery. After surgery, you may be instructed to wear gauze dressing or bandage for a few days or up to several weeks to ensure that your ears heal in their new, corrected position. Often a ski band to cover the ears is worn at night to prevent the ears from bending during sleep. Straining, bending and lifting should be avoided during the early postoperative period. In many instances, you will be able to resume most of your normal activities within ten days or less. Most people return to work at 7- 10 days.