Luigi Rugge – Medicina e Chirurgia Estetica Napoli.

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Letter comments on: Head bandage after otoplasty: How long should it be worn?

We read with interest the article on “Head bandage after otoplasty: How long should it be worn?”.1 The authors discuss there is lack of consensus as to the appropriate duration of bandaging following pinnaplasty. They suggest that based on their results of 62 patients head bandage is not required for more than 48 h.1 We would like to highlight an article published in the Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery in 2010 by Self et al.2 regarding dressings post pinnaplasty.
The authors carried out two audits of 147 pinnaplasties and found that the incidence of bandage re-dressing and slippage correlated heavily to a higher complication rate, with 27% complications in group with slippage and 8% complication rate if the dressings did not slip. They also found that 50% of those bandaged returned for re-application at least once during their post-operative recovery. Also, 33% of those bandaged experienced complications compared to 17% of those without bandage. In a review by Norris et al.3 of 5 studies with total of 121 patients, they found no advantage in operative outcome and patient satisfaction with using head bandage post pinnaplasty.

Despite these studies, many centres still insist on dressing patients’ ears, which is a demonstration of the engrained nature of traditional and non-evidence based techniques.