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An otoplasty surgery is done to correct abnormalities of the outer ear, such as development that causes parts of the ear to stick out. Otoplasty helps return the ear to a more natural position. 

An incision (the place where your surgeon made a cut) will be made behind your child’s ear to reshape it. The surgeon will move the part of the ear that is sticking out back to a more natural position. Once healed, this incision will be hidden by your child’s hair. 

Each ear takes about 20 to 30 minutes to complete. Your child will have bandages over the ear(s) that will be held in place by a gauze head wrap. Keep this in place until the day after surgery. If the bandages stick to the incision when you’re removing it, you can moisten it with warm water. 

After the bandages are removed, you’ll notice some bruising and swelling. This is normal and will get better each day. You might also notice some blood in the ear canal. (This blood has run into the ear, not out from the ear.) Gently clean this with a cotton ball. 

Your child can take a shower a day or two after surgery. The ears should be patted dry, not rubbed. 


Earband Use

You will need to purchase a earband for your child to wear after surgery. We recommend the Ear Band-It, a soft, neoprene band with a Velcro strap. Visit the Ear Band-It website ( for sizing and ordering information. You can also call 1-866-420-4255. If you don’t purchase this product, you can use a wide, soft winter headband. Be sure to expand the band wide enough to place it over your child’s ears without pulling against the incision. 

Your child should wear an earband 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for the first two weeks after surgery. You can remove the band during bathing. The earband holds the repair in place so the ears don’t return to their original position. After your follow-up appointment, your surgeon might shorten the time of use. 

The earband needs to gently hold the ears in place, so it shouldn’t be too tight or too loose. If the band is too tight, it can actually cause a wound (ulceration). If it’s too loose, the ears might start to return to their original position. 

This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the advice of your health care providers. If you have any questions, talk with your doctor or others on your health care team. If you are a Gillette patient with urgent questions or concerns, please contact Telehealth Nursing at 651-229-3890.