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After Otoplasty: Important Dos and Don'ts for an Optimal Recovery

After Otoplasty: Important Dos and Don'ts for an Optimal Recovery

Our double-board certified plastic surgeon with many years of experience, Robert A. Guida, MD, is known throughout Staten Island and New York, New York, as one of the state’s foremost experts in his field. But his personal demeanor and genuine compassion for his patients earned him the reputation as a trustworthy professional who puts people before profits. 

When you partner with Dr. Guida, he cares for you before, during, and after your procedure to ensure you have realistic expectations and walk away with excellent results. To that end, he educates you along the way, explaining each phase of your procedure to optimize your experience and involve you as an active participant. 

Here, he offers practical tips to get the most out of otoplasty, an ear surgery that addresses protruding or misshapen ears. 

What to expect after otoplasty

Although otoplasty is a routine and straightforward procedure, it’s still surgery, so you can expect to feel groggy as the anesthesia wears off. Dr. Guida monitors you until you’re stable, and he’s certain you’re ready to go home. You’ll need someone to drive you since the anesthesia remains in your system for several hours.

Your ears are unique, and Dr. Guida customizes your otoplasty procedure to address your individual anatomy. After finishing the procedure, he explains the details of the surgery and lets you know if you need to do anything special during your recovery. 

In general, these are the dos and don’ts for most people after otoplasty.

Do this after otoplasty

To accelerate healing and recuperate comfortably, you can give your ears a hand by following these post-surgery tips.

Keep your head up

There’s a reason doctors have you elevate an injured limb — it prevents blood from pooling at the site and reduces inflammation. The same is true for your post-surgery ears. Prop your head up on a couple of comfy pillows to keep your blood circulating freely when resting or sleeping. 

Eat well

A nutritious diet is one of the best ways to support the healing process. Your body needs plenty of vitamins and minerals to remodel the tissue in your ears. Choose nutrient-dense foods over empty calories.

Embrace the bandage

Dr. Guida places a compression bandage over your ears immediately after surgery; you need to keep that on for at least 24 hours. After that, you can wear a protective headband. Keeping these wraps in place ensures your ears heal in the correct position.

Keep a cool head

Your ears will feel numb for a few days until the nerves regenerate, so they may not alert you when they get too hot. Keep them cool by avoiding hairdryers, styling tools, and heating pads. If your ears feel warm or swollen, you can gently apply a cool pack for a few minutes at a time. 

Take your medications

Dr. Guida may prescribe pain medications, anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, or a topical ointment to keep you comfortable and ensure safe healing. If so, take them as directed.

Dress appropriately

Your goal after otoplasty is to keep your ears safe from bumps and pressure, so dress accordingly — think button-up tops rather than pullovers. 

Don’t do this after otoplasty

The list of don’ts is short but important. Avoid these three things, and you’ll set yourself up for post-surgery success:


  1. Don’t touch or rub your ears
  2. Don’t wash your hair for a week
  3. Don’t participate in strenuous activities

Protecting your newly shaped ears from accidental grazes and bumps, water, and stress helps them heal more quickly. 

Bonus: You can ensure a speedy recovery if you don’t smoke or if you quit smoking.

Contact us online or by calling either of our two New York offices to learn more about otoplasty and the recovery process.


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