At the end of the procedure a dressing is carefully applied, with the folds and hollows packed with cotton wool to hold the skin closely to the underlying cartilage. This helps reduce the chances of blood collecting. The dressing and head bandage are a very important part of the surgery and are usually left intact for seven to 10 days.
Local anaesthetic is always added during surgery, so the ears won’t be sore initially. This usually wears off after four to six hours and will be followed by mild pain, which can be eased with medication such as Paracetamol. This discomfort usually settles in approximately 48 hours. After that time, itching under the bandages is common.
After the dressings have been removed a loose bandage or headband should be worn for the first week to help prevent accidentally ‘flipping’ out the new ear position.
Your ears will be a little swollen and bruised after the bandages are removed. This swelling can take several weeks to fully settle, and you also will notice that your ears are tender if bumped and that parts of the ear are numb. This will settle over several months and is a normal consequence of the ear setback operation.
Contact sport should be avoided for six weeks, although non-contact sports can begin in approximately three weeks after surgery.