After your child has had an operation to correct prominent ears

This page explains what to expect following ear surgery to correct prominent ears at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH).

For a few days following an operation to correct prominent ears, your child will need a dressing, although the length of time varies from child to child.

The skin under the bandage might feel hot, sweaty and itchy, particularly in hot weather, but please try to persuade your child not to scratch or rub as this could damage the ear and stop it healing well.

Keep the head bandage clean and dry. If the bandage falls off before the dressing clinic appointment, do not try to replace it.

The stitches used to close the skin are dissolvable so do not need to be removed. The stitches under the skin are permanent so are also not removed. For between six weeks and three months after the operation, your child should wear a soft headband at night to avoid damaging the ear while he or she is asleep. Make sure that the headband is not too tight and putting too much pressure on the ear.

Your child might find it difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position for the first few days, so might need some extra pillows to sleep in a more upright position.

Once the dressing has been removed, your child will be able to have a hair wash, but be careful when you are drying the hair, as the ear might be a bit sore if knocked. Use the cool setting of the hair dryer to dry the area around the ear rather than rubbing with a towel.

Your child should be able to return to school a few days after the dressing is removed. Your child should avoid swimming for four to six weeks and rough play or contact sports for three months.

Your child will have to come back to GOSH for an outpatient appointment in three months will be to check that the ear is healing well.

You should call the ward if:

  • Your child is in a lot of pain and pain relief does not seem to help.
  • Your child has a temperature of 38°C or higher and pain relief does not bring it down.
  • Your child is not drinking any fluids.
  • The operation site is red or inflamed, and feels hotter than the surrounding skin.
  • There is any oozing or bleeding from the operation site.
Compiled by: 
The Plastic Surgery department and Peter Pan Ward in collaboration with the Child and Family Information Group This information does not constitute health or medical advice and will not necessarily reflect treatment at other hospitals.
Last review date: 
February 2014


Please note this is a generic GOSH information sheet. If you have specific questions about how this relates to your child, please ask your doctor. Please note this information may not necessarily reflect treatment at other hospitals.