NIGHT AFTER SURGERY
Temporary bruising, swelling and numbness are common the first night after surgery. You may need to go to the bathroom frequently during the night because of the IV fluids you were given during your surgery. Drink a lot of fluids in order to keep up with this fluid loss. As your body begins to balance itself out, it will rid itself of this extra “water weight and everything will return back to normal. You should leave all of your bandages intact overnight.
ONE DAY AFTER SURGERY
The next morning following your surgery, you will return to Dr Motykie’s office for your first post-operative visit. You should leave all bandages and dressings intact overnight and until you reach the office the following morning. Upon arrival to the office you will be escorted to a private examination room where your dressings will be changed and your operative sites will be evaluated. After your examination, you compression wrap will be replaced and you will be allowed to return back to your home. All of your questions will be answered and you will be given instructions for the following week that will include the following:
- Dressings: You will be given special instructions for showering and changing your dressings.
- Diet: Mostly patients start with a liquid diet the night after surgery. Usually by the next day most patients are back to a normal diet.
- Medications: Some swelling, bruising and discomfort are normal immediately following surgery and it is typically controlled with your prescription pain medication. Do not take any other pain medication including Tylenol, aspirin or ibuprofen in combination with your pain medications unless you are given permission by Dr Motykie. You should begin you prescription antibiotics the morning following surgery and continue them for one week after surgery. A combination of Arnica Montana and Bromelain are encouraged after surgery in order to promote your healing process.
- Surgical Garments: A light compression wrap will be worn to protect your ears during the first week after surgery. This may also be replaced with a “headband” if it is more comfortable and convenient for you.
- Bathing: Showering and bathing are permitted the very next day after surgery.
- Activity: Light activity is allowed and encouraged including moving about your house and going for walks outside in order to aid the circulation in your lower extremities. However, no heavy lifting or strenuous activity should be attempted during your first week of recovery. You can usually return to a desk-type job within 72 hours, physical exercise generally can be resumed three weeks after surgery. Aerobic and impact cardio exercise should be avoided for one to two weeks post-operatively. Weight lifting should be avoided for 3-4 weeks post-operatively and chest exercise should not begin until 4-6 weeks post-operatively. The resumption of and amount of physical /athletic activity should be guided by the level of patient discomfort with “pain” being the ultimate guide.
Your ears will be swollen and tender. The sensation/feeling in your ears may also be diminished the immediate post-operative period and may take several months to return to normal. After surgery, bandages or dressings will be applied to keep your surgical site clean, protect it from trauma and to support the new position of the ear during initial healing. It is important that the surgical incisions are not subjected to excessive force, abrasion, or motion during the time of healing. Discomfort immediately following ear surgery is normal and can be controlled with pain medication. There may be an itchy feeling under bandages. It is essential that bandages remain intact and are not removed, for any reason. Failure to do so may result in loss of some of the correction and may require a secondary surgery.
ONE WEEK AFTER SURGERY
Ear surgery offers almost immediate results in cases of protruding ears, visible when the dressings that support the new shape of the ear during initial phases of healing are removed. With the ear permanently positioned closer to the head, surgical scars are either hidden behind the ear or well hidden within the natural creases of the ear. Your ears may be bruised, swollen, and uncomfortable for a day or two, but the pain shouldn’t be severe. Any discomfort you do feel can be relieved with your prescribed medications. Some people can return to work after a few days and some after one week. Most patients can drive their vehicles within a few days after surgery, but plan on having someone drive you to your first few post-operative visits anyway. In regards to an exercise program, use common sense and use pain as your guide; if it hurts, simply don’t do it! The majority of patients are allowed to return to light, low impact cardiovascular exercise after the first week of recovery. You can expect some loss of feeling in your ears, caused by the swelling after surgery. This numbness usually fades away as the swelling subsides over the several weeks or so.
- Dressings: During this appointment, any remaining dressings will be removed. All sutures used during the surgery are dissolvable and do not need to be removed. You should apply an antibiotic ointment (Bacitracin and/or Neosporin) to the incision line once a day.
- Surgical Garments: You will be weaned out of your compression wrap over the next week but you may continue to wear a headband to protect the ears while sleeping at night for the next week or two.
- Medications: Some continued swelling, bruising and discomfort are normal and they are typically controlled with your prescription pain medication. You should also be finishing your prescription antibiotics at this time. Arnica Montana and Bromelain may be continued for another week in order to promote your healing process.
- Bathing: You may bath and shower freely during the second week after surgery.
- Activity: Exercise of some sort is very important, even if it is just walking around your house. Having said this, rest is also important to the healing process and heavy lifting and strenuous activity are still restricted during the first month after surgery. You will be able to return to more strenuous exercise/heavy lifting at 3-4 weeks after surgery. Sensation in your ears may be reduced temporarily, but should return to normal or become hypersensitive as your breasts heal.
ONE MONTH AFTER SURGERY
Depending on the amount of physical exertion required to perform your expected duties, you should already be back into your normal rhythm at work. Exercise and workout routines may begin at this point in your recovery process with pain as your ultimate guide. Any activity that causes discomfort and/or pain needs to be avoided until further along in your recovery process. When you return to the activity, start at half speed and increase to your normal routine as long as you do not feel any pain during and/or the day after your workout. Although exercising will not adversely affect your end result, it may temporarily cause more swelling immediately after the exercise that will subside over the next few hours. The majority of my otoplasty patients are back to their regular workout routine within a few weeks after their surgery.
LONG TERM RESULTS
All patients vary in their ability and speed to recovery after surgery but otoplasty surgery offers near immediate results in cases of overly protruding ears. With the ear permanently positioned closer to the head, surgical scars are hidden in the natural creases behind the