3 Things to Steer Clear of After Otoplasty Surgery

By: Dr. Angelo Cuzalina


Otoplasty, or cosmetic ear surgery, can be a life-changing procedure. When performed on a child, otoplasty surgery can prevent years of teasing or bullying before it happens. For adults, cosmetic ear surgery offers the opportunity to finally feel more confident about their appearance after years, or even decades, of being self-conscious about their ears. At Tulsa Surgical Arts, board-certified cosmetic surgeon Dr. Angelo Cuzalina is an expert in otoplasty surgery, helping patients of all ages look and feel their best so they can enjoy all that life has to offer. Keep reading to learn more about what to expect with otoplasty surgery, including what to do (and what not to do) during recovery.

What is otoplasty?

Otoplasty - sometimes called ear pinning - is a popular cosmetic procedure designed to reshape, reposition, or repair the ears. Otoplasty is commonly performed to create a more natural and pleasing appearance for school-aged children, but many adults also undergo cosmetic ear surgery. Some of the most common reasons for getting cosmetic ear surgery include:

  • Ears that stick out
  • Large ears
  • Asymmetric ears
  • Uneven ears
  • Protruding ears
  • Hanging ear lobes
  • Trauma to the ear
  • Damaged ear
  • Birth defect
  • Ear gauge damage
  • Torn earlobe

How is otoplasty performed?

Depending on the details of the case, Dr. Cuzalina may perform otoplasty surgery using local anesthesia with IV sedation or general anesthesia. Otoplasty surgery is typically performed on both ears to ensure the most symmetric result possible. Based on the nature of the patient’s concerns, otoplasty incisions may be placed behind the ear or within the inner ear, which helps to prevent visible scarring.

What should I do after otoplasty surgery?

Immediately following cosmetic ear surgery, patients can expect some amount of bruising, mild swelling, and soreness. Dr. Cuzalina will provide detailed aftercare instructions and medications to help reduce these side effects and encourage proper healing. Getting plenty of rest and eating a healthy, balanced diet are important during otoplasty recovery.

Is there anything I can’t do after otoplasty surgery?

Most patients can resume light work and activities just a few days after otoplasty surgery, but there are a few things that should be avoided. Three restrictions after otoplasty surgery include:

1. Touching the ears: It is critical that patients avoid touching their ears, lying on their ears, wearing headphones, and otherwise placing pressure on the ears until cleared by Dr. Cuzalina to do so. When sleeping, patients should lie on their backs with their heads slightly elevated.

2. Using shampoo/soap: When showering for the first 2 - 3 days after otoplasty surgery, patients should not use shampoo or soap on the head or ears. After about three days, or when cleared by Dr. Cuzalina, patients can begin to use soap and shampoo in the area.

3. Strenuous exercise: While light activities – like walking and household chores – are generally safe after cosmetic surgery, patients should refrain from heavy lifting, running, and other strenuous physical exercise until cleared by Dr. Cuzalina.

With appropriate aftercare, most patients are fully recovered from otoplasty surgery after about 4 - 6 weeks, but the cosmetic results of the procedure can often be enjoyed much sooner.

Regain your confidence with otoplasty surgery in Tulsa, OK

Whether you are concerned about your child starting school and being teased for their large ears, or you have spent the majority of your life feeling self-conscious about your own ears, we can help. To learn more about your options for cosmetic ear surgery in Tulsa, OK, call Tulsa Surgical Arts to schedule your one-on-one consultation with board-certified cosmetic surgeon and otoplasty expert Dr. Angelo Cuzalina today.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.