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When Can I Return to Work After Ear Pinning Surgery?

By: Austin-Weston


Ear pinning surgery, sometimes referred to as otoplasty or ear reshaping surgery, is a common procedure performed to correct protruding or misshapen ears. While recovery time can vary from patient to patient, one common concern for individuals undergoing this surgery is when they can safely return to work. In this blog from the Reston, VA board-certified plastic surgeons at Austin-Weston, the Center for Cosmetic Surgery in Northern Virginia, you’ll find helpful guidelines on when you can expect to return to work and your other daily routines after ear pinning surgery.

What does ear pinning surgery do?

Ear pinning surgery involves reshaping the cartilage and positioning the ears closer to the head to achieve a more natural, attractive appearance. This procedure is commonly performed on children, particularly those approaching school age, to help prevent teasing and boost self-esteem. Common reasons for otoplasty surgery include:

  • Large ears
  • Protruding ears
  • Ears stick out
  • Prominent ears
  • Self-conscious about ears
  • Asymmetric ears
  • Misshapen ears
  • Trauma to the ear
  • Deformed ears

What is otoplasty recovery like?

The immediate recovery period after ear pinning surgery is critical for proper healing. It is important to take some time off work to allow your body to rest and recover adequately. Most patients are advised to take at least one week off from work following the procedure. During this time, you may experience swelling, bruising, and discomfort, which are normal side effects of the surgery.

Is one week off work enough after ear pinning surgery?

The exact time when you can return to work after ear pinning surgery will depend on various individual factors, including the nature of your job and your body’s natural healing rate and progress. For patients with desk jobs that do not involve a great deal of physical activity, returning to work after one week may be considered safe and appropriate. However, it is important to keep in mind that you may still experience some discomfort or swelling during this period.

For patients whose jobs require physical activity or heavy lifting, it is recommended to wait for at least 2 – 3 weeks before returning to work and, in some cases, longer. Engaging in strenuous activities too soon can potentially disrupt the healing process and increase the risk of complications or delays in your recovery. At Austin-Weston, our surgeons will provide personalized guidance based on your specific circumstances, ensuring a safe and successful recovery.

How long will swelling after ear pinning surgery last?

During the initial 2 – 3 weeks following ear pinning surgery, it is normal to experience some discomfort and swelling. Our experienced surgeons at Austin-Weston will provide you with detailed instructions on how to manage these symptoms and promote healing. This may include taking prescribed pain medications, applying cold compresses, and avoiding activities that may exacerbate swelling. Most patients feel comfortable and confident enough about the appearance of their ears to return to work and social activities about 1 – 3 weeks after surgery, though mild swelling may persist for several more weeks.

The results are considered worth the wait with ear pinning surgery in Reston, VA

Returning to work, school, and your social life after ear pinning surgery may not happen immediately, but most patients agree that their newly enhanced look and boosted self-esteem are worth the short wait. If you’re considering ear pinning surgery in Northern Virginia, call Austin-Weston to schedule your consultation with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons to learn more.


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