It is common practice to use head bandages for 7–10 days following pinnaplasty. However, head bandages are often troublesome for patients and can lead to serious complications.
A systematic review was performed to evaluate the use of head bandages after pinnaplasty. A search of Medline, Embase (Ovid) and CINAHL (EBSCO collections), the Cochrane Library, Pubmed (US National Library of Medicine) and Google Scholar identified 34 related articles. Of these, 14 were deemed relevant and 2 randomised controlled trials, 1 cohort study, 3 case series and 1 literature review met the inclusion criteria.
The two randomised controlled trials show no statistically significant difference in complications when a head bandage was used for the standard 7–10 days, for 24 hours or not at all. The three case series show that using a head bandage for 24 hours or not at all are safe alternatives. The review article recommended that when head bandages are applied after pinnaplasty it should be for the shortest duration possible.
Based on the available evidence, not using a head bandage at all or using one for a maximum of 24 hours following pinnaplasty is recommended.