Ear Surgery Recovery and Preparation | Otoplasty Surgery FAQs

Ear Surgery Recovery and Preparation


Posted by Dr. Hardesty

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Otoplasty or “ear pinning” is one the most satisfying and highly rated procedure for both the patient and the Plastic Surgeon.


1 Month Prior

  1. Stop smoking, vaping, or any type of inhalation of tobacco. Why?  Any inhaled smoking compounds decrease vascularity to the tissue and can result in tissue loss and ear flap necrosis
  2. If your otoplasty or ear pinning is being performed under general anesthesia:- stop all hormonal birth control
    – stop all female hormones

2 Weeks prior to Surgery

  1. Stop all medication that may abnormally affect blood clotting. Check with your pharmacist if any questions. Common over-the-counter medications include aspirin, Aleve, ibuprofen, etc.
  2. Tylenol is safe to take before surgery

3 days before surgery

Infection Prevention: Decolonization

  1. Begin twice daily antiseptic showers
  2. Begin twice daily application of antibiotics in your ear, nostrils, and umbilicus (tummy button).- purchased wide “sweatband” or “beanie” for post-operative protection of the ears. Should fit firmly but not too tight.
    – Make sure all your prescriptions are filled

Evening before Surgery

  1. no alcohol beverages
  2. If undergoing general anesthesia nothing orally after midnight or at least 8 hours before surgery.
  3. make sure you have purchased wide headbands and beanies
  4. final shower with antiseptic soap and antibiotic ointment in ears, nostrils, and tummy button.

Morning of Surgery

  1. wear a button-down or zippered shirt/blouse
  2. if having anxiety take Valium as prescribed
  3. if undergoing general anesthesia place an anti-nausea patch on the inside of an arm.
  4. if otoplasty or ear pinning is being performed under local anesthesia take an antibiotic pill just prior to surgery.

Before & After


Immediate post-operative care

When surgery is over:

  • You will be placed in a large “turbine” dressing for 24 hours.
  • Pain relief: Your ear and surrounding tissue have been injected with a long-lasting local anesthetic agent. Take the prescribed pain killer and alternate with over the counter pain medication
  • Anti-swelling: keep head elevated above the heart and may place ice packs over turbin dressing.

First postoperative day post after otoplasty or ear pinning:

  • Return to the office for removal of turbin dressing
  • There will be expected mild to moderate swelling and bruising
  • Continue with ice packs in the cloth covering
  • Clean the backside of the ear with 1/2 strength hydrogen peroxide and water and apply antibiotic ointment 2-3 times a day.
  • When sleeping use a wide head sweatband or beanie to prevent accidental pullback of the ear and resultant suture rupture.

Postoperative Day 1 to week 6th week after otoplasty or ear pinning:

  • Absorbable skin sutures usually have disappeared
  • Most of the swelling and bruising has resolved
  • Pain should be gone or almost nonexistent
  • Progressive non-high implant exercising is acceptable unless swelling and or pain.
  • After all absorbable sutures have been resolved start preventative liquid silicone scar gel.

After 6 weeks after otoplasty or ear pinning:

  • Nighttime or sleeping with a wide sweat headband or beanie is not necessary.
  • Continue use of anti-scar liquid scar gel for 3 months.
Cosmetic Surgery Prices / Cost

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Cost of Ear Surgery or Otoplasty

The fees are based on the anesthesia used (local vs sedation or general anesthesia), the facility (minor surgical suite, outpatient operating room, or hospital setting), and if combined with other procedures. All pre and post-operative care are included.  Some preoperative laboratory analysis may be required (usually covered by your medical insurance).


Otoplasty or “ear pinning” surgery is very gratifying to both the Plastic Surgeon and the patient. When the instructions have followed the complication, the rate is low.


The most important factor to consider is seeking the opinion and services of a skilled, experienced, and Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon who are an expert in otoplasty or ear pinning techniques. The Imagine Plastic Surgery team uniquely provides the full array of both non-surgical and surgical alternatives thus, filling our motto of “One Goal, Many Options”. For more information, call and schedule a consultation.

What is the cost?

At Imagine Plastic Surgery, we offer a variety a different procedures that all vary in prices. We strive in being transparent to all potential patients and being up front with how much our services may cost. For more information regarding the costs and prices, visit our plastic surgery prices page!


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