Otoplasty Pre & Post Care

The general information and post-operative instructions were carefully written with you in mind. Take the time to read them thoroughly several times. We have found that faithful adherence to the guidelines will give you the smoothest recovery and optimum results. If a question does arise, first refer back to these pages. If you are still uncertain, please call our office at Alabama Surgical Arts Office Phone Number 334-271-2002 or 334-546-9088.

Downloadable Instructions

Items Needed:

  • Prescription Medications
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Q-tips
  • Distilled water

Before the Procedure


  1. Be sure to have all your medications and supplies purchased prior to surgery. These include an antibiotic (Keflex or Cleocin), pain medication (Vicodin), anti-nausea suppositories (Phenergan), hydrogen peroxide, and q-tips. Start your antibiotic and the SinEcch provided to you the evening prior to surgery.
  2. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the evening before your surgery. This includes water and chewing gum.
  3. Please wear clothing to surgery that does NOT go over your head. A button-down or zippered shirt will make it easier to get dressed following surgery.
  4. Shampoo your hair the evening and the morning of surgery. Do not use hair gel or hairspray.
  5. Clean your face the morning before surgery. Do not apply moisturizers, powders, or make-up.
  6. If you are a smoker stop smoking 6 weeks prior to surgery and 6 weeks after surgery to enhance wound healing and decrease the risk of complications.
  7. Stop the use of all aspirin products (see “Aspirin List”), Vitamin E, Fish Oil, and Multi-vitamins two weeks prior to surgery and two weeks after.
  8. Bring your pain and nausea medication with you to surgery.
  9. DO NOT EAT OR DRINK ANYTHING AFTER MIDNIGHT THE NIGHT BEFORE SURGERY.
  10. Arrange for a driver to transport you to the Cosmetic Surgery Center for your first week’s post-operative visits. Operating a motor vehicle while using narcotics is not advised.
  11. You must have a responsible adult, friend, or relative, 21 years or older, drive you home following surgery and plan to remain with you for the first 24 hours postoperatively. You will not be discharged from the Surgery Center to ride home in a taxi following surgery.

Post-Operative Care


  1. Please contact our office immediately if sudden profuse bleeding occurs. Remain calm as excitement and panic raises your blood pressure and worsens bleeding.
  2. Restart your antibiotic and Sinecch medication the night of your surgery. Take the antibiotic with a light meal to avoid nausea.
  3. Sleep in a semi-sitting position for 2 weeks following surgery. Propped up on 2-3 pillows or sleeping in a recliner are both acceptable.
  4. Try to suppress any forceful coughing or sneezing for at least 7-10 days after surgery.
  5. Bruising may occur in the surgical area following the procedure. If bruising develops, it should be gone in 7-14 days.
  6. A low grade fever for the first post-operative days is not abnormal. Take two Tylenol tablets for temperature elevations below 101.5°. If you have a persistent fever over 101.5° call Alabama Surgical Arts.
  7. Your head will be wrapped with a compression bandage after surgery. Do not for any reason loosen or remove it. It will be removed 24-72 hours following surgery by your physician. After the dressing is removed, you may reassume showering and hair washing as long as you are delicate and mindful of the incision areas.
  8. Men may reassume shaving with a electric razor on the fourth day after surgery.
  9. Do not color or chemically treat hair for 4 weeks following surgery.
  10. Avoid excessive facial movements, straining, or leaning forward of the head and neck for two weeks following surgery. Move your head and neck as one unit. Tightness along the incision is expected, but if you feel an increase in tightness as you move, you may be moving your head and neck too much.
  11. Do not eat food, candy or gum after surgery that is hard to chew. A soft diet is recommended for the first three days after surgery.
  12. You may begin to use make-up and or cover-up one week following surgery. Apply very carefully avoiding tugging, rubbing, or pushing of the skin.
  13. Avoid the sun, which may darken maturing scars. Protect incisions by using a sunscreen with a SPF of 45 or higher.
  14. Do not drive if you are taking pain medication.

Care of Incisions


Once the bandage is removed, you may begin cleaning the incisions with peroxide. Dab the areas dry, then apply Polysporin. Keeping the incisions clean will minimize the chance of infection and improve the appearance of the scar. Incisions should be cleaned 2-3 times a day. After 5 days, discontinue Polysporin use.

You may wash your hair after the bandage has been removed. Be careful not to rub your scalp vigorously. Avoid blow-drying hair until the sensation has returned to normal so that you do not burn your scalp or ears.

A headband should be worn at all times to cover the ears with mild pressure. This should be worn 24 hours a day for one week. After one week, the headband should be worn around the house whenever possible and slept in for 6 weeks following surgery.

Protect your ears from trauma. Use care when combing or brushing hair.


Post-operative Appointments


The first post-operative appointment will be the day after surgery for bandage removal. One week following surgery you will have sutures removed. Two weeks after surgery you will have staples removed if used. Your doctor will recommend any further follow-up visits.

Keep your head and back elevated using 2-3 pillows or a reclining chair. This is important to help minimize swelling. Do this for 2 weeks after your surgery. Lay on your back rather than your side or stomach.

Do not lift anything greater than 10 pounds during the first week after surgery. Stay away from strenuous activity for 4 weeks as this may increase bleeding, swelling, and bruising.