WHAT CAN I EXPECT AFTER SURGERY?
After your operation a bulky bandage dressing will be wrapped around your head fully covering the ears. There will be a fair amount of pressure associated with this dressing.
There will be a mild to moderate amount of pain and discomfort associated with the surgery. This should be easily controlled with oral medications. Most children require only plain Tylenol (acetaminophen, Tempra). Tylenol with codeine (or equivalent if allergy to codeine exists) is generally always sufficient for adults.
The discomfort and pain should begin to decrease within 48 hours after surgery. A significant increase in pain after this period should prompt you to call the office.
Hairstyling and shampooing are obviously a problem after your surgery until the dressings are removed. Getting the hair wet is not recommended until the dressing is removed.
As a result of the packing that is temporarily placed at the entrance to your ear canal at the time of surgery you will experience a “plugging” sensation to your ears until your dressing is removed.
It is of utmost importance to tell Dr. Ducic ahead of time if you have ever been on Accutane received radiation therapy to the head or neck, taken steroids or immunosuppressive agents.
Immunosuppressed patients (HIV positive, chemotherapy, AIDS etc) and patients with certain autoimmune disorders may not be good candidates for this procedure as the risks of poor healing and infection leading to permanent scarring and poor aesthetic results may be much higher. It is mandatory that you inform Dr. Ducic if you have any of these conditions before surgery.
CALL THE OFFICE PROMPTLY IF YOU NOTICE ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:
- significant increase in pain after the first 48 hours following surgery.
- development of a temperature exceeding 100.0 degrees.
- the dressing shifts significantly or falls off.
- if, after the dressing is removed, you: injure the ear or notice any increase in pain or change in shape of the ear.
If any of the above should occur after regular office hours, do not hesitate to reach us through the answering service. For whatever reason if you notice one of the above changes and cannot reach us at our office or through the answering service, present yourself to the emergency department for evaluation.
HOW DO I CARE FOR MYSELF AFTER SURGERY?
Make arrangements to have someone drive you to, and from, your surgery.
Having someone stay with you on at least the first night after your surgery is highly recommended.
Be sure to fill your prescriptions before your surgery since it means one less thing for you to worry about afterwards.
Arrive for your surgery in loose, comfortable clothing. Your top should button or zip rather than pull over your head.
Leave the dressing over the ears undisturbed.
Take the antibiotics and pain medication only as prescribed by the office.
Do not take any aspirin or any anti-inflammatory compounds for 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after your surgery unless you first discuss it with your surgeon.
If you are a smoker, you should not smoke for at least 2 weeks prior to surgery and 2 weeks after surgery. Smoking and chewing tobacco inhibit your circulation and can significantly compromise your surgical outcome.
The dressings and sutures will be removed approximately 1 week after surgery. Some sutures may be left to dissolve on their own.
You should wear a light supportive headband over the ears at night for an additional 4 weeks after surgery to prevent inadvertent injury to the ears.
Sleep with the head elevated for the first 48 hours.
Heat and ice after surgery are impractical as the bulky dressings will prevent their use. Thus, neither is generally recommended.
Approximate recovery after otoplasty is as follows:
DAY 1 Return home
DAY 1-2 Aching, throbbing
DAYS 6-8 Bandage off, stitches removed or dissolving
4 WEEKS Wear headband
REMEMBER: If you have any concerns or questions, please contact our office any time. Our office should be a source of information and reassurance throughout this entire experience, from the time of your first consultation and continuing after your surgery.