Items To Obtain Prior To Surgery
- Hibiclens or antibacterial soap (such as Dial) (at any pharmarcy, Walmart, or Target in first aid section).
- Antibiotic ointment
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Cotton tip applicators
Two Weeks Before Surgery
• Do not take any products containing aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication or Vitamin E. Tylenol is acceptable.
• Refrain from all nicotine products, including cigarettes, pipe tobacco, chew or Nicotine patch. Nicotine interferes with healthy circulation and may affect the result of your surgery. It also places you at higher risk of complication when receiving anesthesia.
The Day Before Surgery
• You will receive a phone call informing you of your arrival time for surgery.
• Pick up your prescribed medicines if you were to receive the prior to your procedure. Place them in a bag to bring with you the day of surgery.
• Wash with hibiclens or antibacterial soap the night before surgery. Also plan to wash your hair that evening or morning of procedure.
• If you requested an oral sedative, please arrange for transportation to and from the office as you will not be permitted to drive.
• Wash with hibiclens or antibacterial soap the morning of surgery. Wash all areas that will be worked upon.
• Do not wear cosmetics, jewelry of any kind, contact lenses, hair clips or body piercings (If there is something you cannot remove, let the admitting nurse know right away.) Wear comfortable, clean, loose-fitting clothing. A pair of loose, drawstring sweatpants or comfortable jeans are perfect. Wear clean cotton socks, as the operating room can feel cool. For your comfort, wear a zip or button front top.
• Do not take aspirin (or products containing aspirin) or Ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®, Midol®) for 2 weeks after surgery. Also do not begin herbal supplements until 2 weeks after surgery. Arnica, Bromelin and Vitamin C are okay to take.
• Phentermine or appetite suppressants should not be taken until 6 weeks after surgery as these supplements increase heart rate and blood pressure and can interfere with your recovery
• Beginning the day after repair, you will need to clean your incisions at least 3 x a day.
- Mix 2 Tbsp. peroxide with 2 Tbsp. tap water (1:1 ratio) in a small container for each cleaning application. Do not save mixture, do not reuse.
- Use Q-tips and peroxide solution to clean all blood and material from the incisions. DO NOT leave any crusts or blood on the stitched areas. Repeat a minimum of 3-4 times per day. Clean incisions from end to end, not across the length of the incision.
- Cover ALL incisions and abrasions with a thin layer of ointment. DO NOT allow ANY area to dry out or scab over.
• Most people do not require narcotics for pain following repair. If you are given narcotics, do not drive for approximately 10-12 days and while you are taking pain medication. DO NOT DRINK ALCOHOL WHILE TAKING PAIN MEDICATIONS or muscle relaxer. This can be a deadly combination. Only take the pain medication if needed. The quicker you can wean off of the pain medication, the better you will feel and heal. Most people only need to take Ibuprofen or Tylenol for pain. Begin taking Ibuprofen or Motrin as soon as you get home. 600 mg every 6 hours is recommended as this will aid with swelling.
• Arnica is a natural supplement which also helps with swelling and discomfort. This can be purchases at health food stores or on-line if you choose to do so.
• On the day of surgery, try to stay up as much as possible, sitting, standing or walking around rather than remaining in bed. You should, however, rest when tired. When reclining to rest, elevate your head and back using several pillows for the first 1-2 days after surgery. Lie on your back rather than your sides or stomach.
• Avoid any activities that cause pain or discomfort. Avoid bending or lifting more than 5lbs during the first week. Take extra precautions to protect your head and neck from bumps, hits or injuries. Passive exercise is permitted, however no physical contact sports are allowed for 2 months post-surgery. No swimming, gym workouts or strenuous activities for 2 weeks post-surgery.
• Take a stool softener with pain medication to prevent constipation.
• You may apply a cool damp washcloth to the surgery site in the first 24 hours to aid with swelling and discomfort. Ice should not be applied directly to the surgical site. Rotate the cool compressed for 15 minutes, and then take off for 15 minutes. You may use a warm washcloth after the first 24 hours of using cool compresses. Do not apply heat continuously and do not a heating pad directlyto the skin. Only apply for 15 minutes. This will aid in circulation and reduce the swelling. You can continue to use the warm compresses for 3-4 days if needed.
• Wait 48 hours before washing hair. Use mild shampoo and take care around the suture lines. Avoid hot hair dryers as risk of burn will be greater.
• Use sunscreen and try to stay out of the direct sun as sunlight will affect healing and color of the incision site. Extra precautions should be taken the first year following surgery.
• Keep your follow up appointment for suture removal.
• Do not re-pierce the ear for at least 9 weeks following repair. 3 months is best. Do NOT re-pierce along the repair line as this tissue is prone to re-injury.
What To Expect
• There will be swelling in the earlobe and it will appear lumpy and bumpy after the sutures are removed.
• The suture line may appear red or slightly darker than the surrounding tissues following suture removal. This is normal but should become less evident with time.
• Your scars will continue to mature and settle. If your scars become raised, red, thickened, or wide contact our office. Early intervention is important to achieving well-healed scars. Use of silicone sheets may be recommended.
• There may a small divot or indention at the repair. This does not always occur but the tissues may shift during the healing phase. Usually this is not well seen as the defect is usually rather small but you may not be completely happy with the result as is a risk with any surgery.