Cosmetic and structural defects of your child’s ears — such as shape, position, and size — can be improved or corrected with otoplasty, commonly called ear surgery. Otoplasty can also be a great option if your child has experienced an ear injury.
At Wellspring Craniofacial Group, we understand your desire to give your child the best head start in life, and we are dedicated to helping you and your child through the otoplasty process — not just the surgery, but the recovery too. And proper rest is a crucial part of that recovery.
If you’re a parent whose child has recently undergone otoplasty, here are ways to help your child sleep better post surgery.
Follow All Aftercare Instructions
Most of the time, your child will sleep fine after their otoplasty, but if you find him or her unable to sleep, make sure you haven’t forgotten a post-op step.
Some aftercare instructions (like wearing the headband) are designed to help your child’s new ear (or ears) retain the new shape, but other post-op information is written to keep swelling down and pain at bay.
Giving pain medication on time, for example, is an important part of keeping your child comfortable and ready for sleep. It can be helpful to give a dose of pain medication before bedtime. Giving medication as prescribed prevents breakthrough pain and discomfort later. You don’t want to skip a prescribed dose of any medication simply because your child is feeling better at the moment.
Keep Your Child Engaged During the Day
While physical activity is not recommended immediately following surgery, it is important to keep your child awake and occupied during the day. A bored child might fall asleep in the afternoon, making it difficult to fall asleep at bedtime.
Try these activities to help keep your child stimulated:
- Read a good book together
- Watch a favorite film or find a new favorite film
- Do crafts like macaroni art or create a farm with modeling clay
- Cook a favorite meal together
- Get the Legos out of the closet and build a spaceship
Ask your child’s surgeon about low-impact activities like going for a short walk or taking a trip to the museum.
Keeping your child stimulated throughout the day is one of the best ways to ensure sleepiness at night.
Be Alert to Potential Issues
In the days following otoplasty, a curious child might pick at or pull on protective dressing. A child could even pull the dressing off altogether. Occasionally, this touching and prodding causes discomfort and hinders sleep. Too much touching can also lead to infection, but this is rare. Infections, even when minor, can be painful and contribute to your child’s inability to rest.
Signs of infection may include:
- Increased pain, especially following days of improvement
Be sure to contact your child’s surgeon if you suspect an infection. Remember, infection after otoplasty is rare, but also easily treated with antibiotics.
For more information about otoplasty aftercare or to schedule a consultation, please contact our office at 512-600-2888 or contact us online.