Congratulations! Your child has just had an otoplasty to reshape their ears. This procedure is bound to boost self-esteem and help them feel more confident in their appearance.
To ensure the ear surgery is successful, parents of patients must pay close attention to the surgical site while keeping your child relaxed. Use the following tips to make recovery easier and ensure the area heals quickly and cleanly.
Prepare for Pain
Unfortunately, there’s a good chance your child might have a small amount of throat pain right after the otoplasty, associated with anesthesia. This is normal, but it can still be irksome for your patient.
Our craniofacial surgeons take care to place a long-acting numbing medicine around the ears to alleviate post-op pain for several hours. As the numbing medicine wears off, it is smart to have over-the-counter pain medication readily available to ease any soreness. In fact, we recommend taking the first dose prior to the numbing medicine wearing off, which occurs about 4-6 hours after surgery. Additionally, cold packs can be a great way to reduce swelling and relieve the sting. Just be sure not to get the incision wet and avoid putting ice directly on skin.
Elevate the Head
Having your child’s head elevated in the days following surgery can greatly reduce swelling and relieve bruising. Always provide them with enough pillows so their head is above the level of their heart. You might also let them migrate to a comfortable armchair where they can relax in an upright position.
The aftercare for an otoplasty can be quite boring for a child, as they are not running around or “rough-housing.” They should avoid any activity that carries a risk of hitting or traumatizing the surgical sites. Try to distract them as much as possible.
Gather some of their favorite activities and have them all on-hand:
- Board games
- Art supplies
- Coloring books
- TV shows or movies or video games
Make each day a fun, new adventure so they can forget the recent surgery.
Make It a Game
One part of recovery that can be bothersome is wearing the headband. This keeps your child’s ears in place as they heal, but it can become cumbersome. To alleviate some of the frustration, turn wearing the headband into a game.
For example, make up a backstory about how the headband provides them with magical powers or lets them travel into space. This will give them a fun new playtime adventure to brainstorm as they rest and heal. They can write down their stories or illustrate their imagined adventures as a way to keep busy and entertained. We love posting our patient’s artwork!
With the help of our doctors at Wellspring Craniofacial Group, your child’s otoplasty surgery doesn’t have to be a major procedure. When you follow our post-surgery instructions, your child can get back to school and sports in no time. Ready to get started? Contact our office today at (512) 600-2888 to schedule your consultation.