Dressing And Bandaging After Surgical Ear Correction

How Long Should The Ears Stay Bandaged

After completion of the surgery, there is a firm head dressing which is applied after Otoplasty. Usually it is recommended by many surgeons that the patient should be wearing the bandage upto 10 days after the procedure. But the bandages often come off or get displaced.

The treatment area may itch, smell of old blood or simply come out. This is when the for changing the dressing comes up even in as short as 24 hours after Otoplasty.

During The Time The Ears Stays Bandaged

  1. First 24 hours- a mild compression garment is worn on the head for better healing process. The patient’s ear may appear swollen and larger than normal.
  2. 24-72 hours- headband remains over the ears all the time. Most of the swelling dissipates.
  3. 72 hours-first week- return to work is possible, though swelling would be there  
  4. First week-  second week- Patients start feeling comfortable in social situtaions
  5. Three months – Swelling completely subsides.

Wearing The Headband

Understanding the techniques opted by the surgeon can be of great help and lead to not an overtly unrealistically expecting patient. After the performance of Otoplasty procedure, the patient is instructed to wear a headband dressing  to help them prevent any accidents. The headband serves the purpose of protecting the ear from accidental folding and to remember that the wearer needs to be careful towards the recently operated area. Select a headband which covers the ear, but must not interfere with the blood flow, which may inturn case scarring.

How Bandages Prevent Risks and Complications

It is seen that the range of potential risks associated with the auricular correction is underestimated. In case of the early complications like allergic reactions, hematoma, pressure ulcers, fistula caused by stitches, it covers  a 5% of the patients undertaking the process. There is around 20% chance of the risks in the late complications, which includes  telephone ear,   auricle fitting to close. Excessive edge formation. Recurrences,  Keloids, narrow auditory canal.

Ear surgery Recovery timeline

  • Adults can return to work after several days
  • Headband must be worn for several weeks
  • Bandages can be removed after a few days
  • Resume normal activities after one week
  • Do not wash hair for a week post procedure
  • Donot sleep on your side during recovery phase
  • Keep head elevated to minimize swelling with comfortable pillows
  • It takes 6 weeks to recover fully in case of Otoplasty


Protruding ears or asymmetrical ears can be considered among one of the most noticeable deformities in the face. And the best option to resolve the problem is to consider Otoplasty or cosmetic ear correction procedure. It is a form of cosmetic surgery performed by expert surgeons to reduce or reconstruct the auricle.  Non-surgical techniques also exist, that include splinting, taping and suturing the ears to pin it back.

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