In the great majority of cases, over 90%, Dr. Gerzenshtein places the incisions over the posterior (backside) aspect of the ear(s). In cases requiring more than routine ear-reshaping, limited anterior (front) ear incisions are used.
Scars are not particular to the otoplasty procedure, but their prominence, or asymmetry if present, may be disturbing. Because the incision is placed behind the ear(s), even if the scar(s) become prominent, one would have to look behind the ear(s) to note them. Most of the time, however, the scars heal very well, and are not detectable even on reflecting the ear to the front.
Typically, one full week of recovery is needed prior to resumption of academic or work activities. All otoplasty patients recover at their own pace after ear reshaping, there are some general trends. The initial pain subsides over the course of two to three day. Swelling and discoloration may worsen after an ear pinning over the course of the same several days. It is a good idea to have someone at home to assist the patient in the immediate postoperative period. Strong pain medication will be needed in the first one week after otoplasty. Thereafter, normal, non-strenuous activities and work or school may be resumed. Swelling and bruising may persist for up to two months after ear-pinning and ear reshaping surgery. Heavy exertion, and any activity, or contact sport that may result in injury should be avoided for first two post-operative months, as should sun exposure.
Non-strenuous exercise may be restarted after one week. Rigorous exercise may be resumed within four weeks after otoplasty. Contact sports, or sports where contact is likely should be avoided for at least 6 weeks to prevent dehiscence or disruption of otoplasty suture.
Dr. Gerzenshtein’s preference is to use absorbable sutures in otoplasty surgery, obviating the need for suture removal. In the infrequent instance that non-absorbable sutures are used, stitch removal takes place 10-14 days after ear-reshaping surgery.
Typically, ear reshaping undertaken to repair deformities in the child is covered when there is concern for the possibility of psychological trauma as a result of persistent teasing. It is unlikely that aesthetic otoplasty in the adult would be covered for the same reasons.