Ear Surgery/Otoplasty: Preparation and Recovery
After you have scheduled your ear surgery (or your child’s ear surgery), please follow these guidelines. Please note: these are only general guidelines. Your surgeon knows your medical history (or your child’s) and will tailor the surgical plan to meet your individual health needs. Always follow your surgeon’s instructions carefully and call him or her if you have any questions or run into any problems before or after your surgery.
2-3 Weeks Before Your Surgery
- If your child is undergoing ear surgery, speak to your child about his or her feelings, what they should expect from the surgery and give them information about the procedure and the recovery period.
- Do NOT take aspirin or any anti-inflammatory drugs/NSAIDS, such as ibuprofen, Advil, Motrin or Alleve. These medications are blood thinners and can cause complications during and after surgery. Please make sure you have informed your surgeon of every medication and supplement you have ingested within the last few months. For a complete list of medications and supplements to avoid before and after surgery, read the pre/post operative instructions given to you by your surgeon.
- If you are taking anti-depressants, please tell your surgeon because he or she will need to adjust your anesthesia level accordingly. To avoid complications during surgery, it is very important that you tell your doctor about any anti-depressants that you are currently taking or have recently taken. For a complete list of medications and supplements to avoid before and after surgery, read the pre/post operative instructions given to you by your surgeon.
- Please disclose ALL vitamins, supplements and herbs that you have ingested within the last few months to your surgeon. This includes diet pills and fat loss supplements. Vitamins, supplements and herbs can be very dangerous during and after surgery and should be avoided at least 3 weeks before and after surgery. In particular, DO NOT take Vitamin E, St. John’s Wort, Ginseng, Ma Huang (aka Ephedra), or Echinacea at least 3 weeks before surgery. For a complete list of medications and supplements to avoid before and after surgery, read the pre/post operative instructions given to you by your surgeon.
- If you smoke, stop smoking at least 2 weeks before your surgery. It is preferable that you stop smoking at least 2 months before your scheduled surgery. Do not smoke during your recovery as that could delay the healing process.
- Any prescription drugs that you will need after your surgery should be filled during this 2-3 week period before your surgery.
- Men should trim hair around the ears before surgery.
- Prepare your home for your recovery. A few tips: Have your house already cleaned; laundry done, trash should be taken out; recovery foods pre-prepared; bills paid; books, movies, and pillows available; internet access available, cell phone charged, and important phone numbers and medications easily available. Consider making arrangements for your parents or in-laws to watch your children or pets during your recovery if possible. The most important thing is for you to relax. If your child is having the surgery, make sure the school has been notified about the missed days of school during the recovery period.
The Day Before Your Surgery
- Make arrangements for a relative or friend to drive you home from the surgical center after your surgery. Make sure your escort (friend or relative) has the address of the doctor’s office, correct directions and information about parking if needed. Tell your escort that BeverlyHillsPhysicians.com will have an extra copy of your Post-Operative Instructions for him/her to pick up and read.
- If your child is having the surgery, a parent or guardian should drive the child home after the surgery and remain with them during the recovery period.
- For adults having surgery: Make arrangements for your escort to stay with you for 24-72 hours after your surgery.
- The day before your surgery, DO NOT eat or drink anything after midnight. If your surgery is in the afternoon, ask your surgeon what or when you may eat before your surgery.
- Do NOT take medications without specific instructions from your doctor.
- If you wish to wash your hair, do it the night before your surgery.
The Day of Your Surgery:
DO NOT take medications without specific instructions from your doctor.
DO NOT wear tight fitting undergarments, pantyhose or girdles, to surgery.
DO NOT bring jewelry or valuables to surgery.
DO NOT wear make-up or perfume the day of surgery.
DO NOT plan to drive yourself home, or travel home without an escort after you leave the surgical ceneter.
DO NOT plan to spend the night alone when returning home.
DO re-read the Patient Information Package provided.
DO shower and wash the face and ears with anti-bacterial soap or with the instruction soap the morning of your surgery. Do not apply any moisturizers, deodorant, talcum powder or other products afterwards. Do not use hairspray or perfume.
DO brush your teeth but do not swallow any water if your surgery is in the morning.
DO bring a case for contact lenses.
Do braid or pin hair away from the ears.
DO wear clean, loose fitting clothes that open in the front and can be easily slipped back on when it’s time to leave the doctor’s office. Sweat pants and oversized shirts are ideal. Wear slip on shoes as well.
DO call us if you develop a cold, sore throat, fever or other illness before surgery.
DO bring all medications prescribed.
DO have an adult take you home and spend the night with you after you return home. Parents or guardian should remain with children during the recovery period.
DO fill out the Personal Information Sheet provided.
Make sure you have your post-operative instructions.
Immediately After Surgery—Your recovery
Please note: These are general recovery guidelines and will vary depending upon the extent of the procedures performed and your medical history (or your child’s). Always follow your surgeon’s instructions carefully and call him or her if you have any questions or run into any problems before or after your surgery.
Ear surgery is done on an outpatient basis. However, some surgeons may require children to stay overnight in the hospital. For planning purposes, give yourself or your child about a week for recovery. You should be able to return to work/school after this time.
Do not take aspirin or any anti-inflammatory drugs/NSAIDS, such as ibuprofen, Advil, Motrin or Alleve during your recovery. These medications are blood thinners and can cause complications after surgery. In addition, do not take any vitamins, supplements or herbal supplements during your recovery, unless your surgeon instructs you to do so. Do not smoke during your recovery.
MEDICATIONS: Take the antibiotics and pain medication your surgeon prescribed according to the pharmacy instructions. Don’t take pain medication on an empty stomach, as it may cause nausea and vomiting. You do not have to take the pain medicine if you are not in pain, but you must take all of your antibiotics.
Immediately after surgery, there may be some minimal bruising, swelling and throbbing of the ears. There shouldn’t be too much pain--just discomfort that is easily controlled with pain medication. You or your child will need to wear a special headband for several weeks so ears heal in the desired shape and position. There may be some itching after surgery so it’s important for parents to make sure children do not scratch their ears. Within a couple of days, you should start to see results.
Your surgeon will give you specific bathing instructions.
CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF YOU HAVE: A) severe pain not responding to pain medication; B) an infection, or severe pain on one side or3) high fever. However, Don’t Take Any Chances! Call immediately if you have any questions or concerns about your recovery. During office hours, or after hours, call 1(800)788-1416.
Avoid blow dryers, sun or anything else that inflicts extreme heat or cold.
Speak to your surgeon about when it is safe to start wearing glasses and earrings again.
Keep you head elevated when sleeping.
Activity restrictions: Getting up and walking several times a day is encouraged to improve circulation and reduce the chance of blood clots. You should be able to resume a normal routine after a week. However, avoid strenuous activities, rough play, and anything g else that could damage the ears for 6 weeks. Please note: your surgeon will monitor your recovery and will let you know when you can resume your usual physical activities.
Driving: You should not drive for at least a week or more after surgery and should NEVER drive while taking pain medications. Please note: speak to your surgeon about when it is safe for you to start driving again because he or she knows your medical history.
POST-OPERATIVE APPOINTMENTS: Make sure you keep all post-operative appointments. It is very important that your surgeon is able to see you and monitor your recovery.