PATIENT REGISTRATION        MEDICARE FORM         (212) 794-0044

Patients considering ear surgery often have questions regarding otoplasty recovery. During a consultation at his New York, NY, practice, Dr. Charles Thorne will explain the procedure in detail and provide you with tips to assist you with healing. While each patient responds to surgery differently, in most cases, patients should be able to resume most normal activities after one week.

Immediately After Surgery

It is imperative that patients carefully follow post-surgical instructions to ensure a smooth recovery and satisfying outcome. After otoplasty surgery, your head will be loosely wrapped with padded bandages to protect your ears. These fluff bandages will need to remain in place for several days after your procedure. At a follow-up appointment about one week after surgery, Dr. Thorne will remove all bandages. For routine otoplasty all the sutures are absorbable and therefore no suture removal is required. Dr. Thorne may ask that the patient wear a loosely fitting headband at night only for a few weeks. It is important not to wear the headband during the day. Patients frequently have the mistaken impression that a headband is necessary for healing or to maintain the correction; not true!

Recovery Timeline

You may take a shower up to the neck while wearing the bandage and then may shower and shampoo normally once the dressing is removed. When the bandages are removed, your ears will appear swollen and bruised. This is completely normal. Bruising and swelling are temporary. For any soreness, take pain relievers as directed.

Otoplasty recovery infographic

Adults can expect to return to work within the first week. Children who undergo otoplasty can typically return to school one week after surgery. Patients with long hair can cover their swollen ears with the hair and return to school or work as soon as the dressing is removed. Patients with shorter hair may wish to remain at home for a week or 10 days for resolution of most of the swelling.

It is imperative that patients carefully follow post-surgical instructions to ensure a smooth recovery and satisfying outcome.

Strenuous activity should be avoided for at least two to three weeks, but most patients can expect to resume other normal activities one week after surgery. When resting, keep your head elevated above your heart, if possible. Again, this allows the swelling to go down faster.

Minimizing Side Effects

If you notice increased pain, especially pain that is much greater on one side than the other, call the office immediately. You may have a hematoma, which is a collection of blood under the skin. 

When Can Patients Enjoy Final Results?

While you will notice some improvement after surgery, the body takes time to heal. During your follow-up appointments, we will encourage you to be patient with your body as it recovers to help you maintain realistic expectations. Over the course of the next six to eight weeks, as the swelling subsides, you will begin to enjoy your final results.

Learn More

To learn more about otoplasty recovery and to determine whether you are a good candidate for this procedure, please schedule your consultation today with Dr. Thorne. You can contact the doctor online or reach the practice by calling (212) 794-0044.

In The Media

Dr. Thorne is consistently highlighted in every publication profiling the Best Doctors in Manhattan or the Best Doctors in the entire United States. He has been featured in the New York Times multiple years running, as well as America's Top Doctors, and has hosted a radio show on plastic surgery alongside dermatologist Dr. Linda Franks.

  • New York Best Doctors 2019
  • New York Best Doctors 2017
  • New York Best Doctors 2014
  • New York Best Doctors 2008

  • New York Best Doctors 2005
  • Americas Top Doctors 2002
  • Castle Connolly 10th
  • Castle Connolly 6th