How Long After Otoplasty Can I Wash My Hair (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 2 Weeks

Otoplasty is a surgery that involves changing, rectifying, modifying either the shape or position of the ears. It is a type of cosmetic surgery that could help a person with protruding ears.

However, it should be kept in mind that after one has otoplasty, their ears need to be bandaged for a few days till the surgical incisions on the region around the ear heal. Thus, as it is important not to get the dressings and bandages wet, one is advised not to wash their head or take a shower for certain days after the surgery till those bandages and dressings are taken off.

How Long After Otoplasty Can I Wash My Hair

How Long After Otoplasty Can I Wash My Hair?

ConditionsDuration
How Long After Otoplasty Can I Wash My Hair2 weeks
How Long After Otoplasty To Play Sports2 – 3 months

Otoplasty involves repositioning or restructuring one’s ears and hence this surgery will require certain incisions to be made which would then take a substantial amount of time to get healed. Thus, to keep the area after the surgery clean and free from dirt and bacteria as well as to provide support to the ears to adjust to their new position, ears after otoplasty are bandaged.

Ears after otoplasty are quite sensitive and tender, and thus no pressure should be put on them after surgery. Wearing a hat, sleeping on the side, after the surgery hence should be avoided in the initial weeks after the procedure.

Besides these, many other restrictions like not washing the hair, not going swimming are some other restrictions that doctors impose on otoplasty patients after their surgery. It is strictly advised by doctors to avoid showering to prevent any type of contact between the bandages and water, as this could prolong the recovery period.

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After 8 to 10 days after the procedure when the bandages are removed, one can gently wash their hair with soap and water as usual. However, patients must talk to their respective otoplasty surgeon for post-operative care and precautions to be taken as these instructions can vary from patient to patient.

Why Can I Wash My Hair So Long After Otoplasty?

After the otoplasty surgery is performed, the ears need time to heal and recover. For this purpose, the ears might be pinned to help them maintain their new position in a traditional, invasive method. If this is the case, the otoplasty surgeon will instruct the patient to wash their hair only after 2 weeks till the bandages are removed after the surgery.

However, nowadays doctors also pin the ears with the minimal invasive Merck stitch method. In this case, patients after consulting their doctors can start washing their hair 2 – 3 days after the procedure is done. Thus, the duration to wash one’s hair can differ from person to person, and hence it is best to check the opinion of one’s operative surgeon.

Typically after the otoplasty surgery, the doctor will place a dressing around the ear immediately after the procedure is done. This dressing is required to be maintained till one is scheduled for the next appointment with the doctor. After the dressing is removed, a headband will be needed to be worn by the patient till the ears are substantially healed.

As these dressings help the wound in healing faster, they should not get wet. Hence, showering or washing in the initial days is strictly advised to be avoided. While showering or washing one’s hair, one might aggressively rub the back of their ears that can potentially disrupt the skin or stitches. This can then eventually cause harm to the final otoplasty result.

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Conclusion

After otoplasty, any sports activity like swimming or other strenuous acts should be avoided as it might traumatize the ears and prolong its recovery. On the same line, patients are also refrained from washing their hair for at least 2 weeks to give a sufficient amount of time to their ears to heal.

The skin stitches behind the ears usually dissolve after approximately 14 days i.e by the time the bandages are removed. Thus, after at least 2 weeks later the surgery, when the doctor has allowed one to wash their hair, only a mild and gentle shampoo, such as a baby shampoo should be used as other shampoos might irritate the skin stitches and cause discomfort.

References

  1. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-78028-9_17
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1071094997800042