How to drain Cauliflower Ear

Cauliflower ear forms when trauma to the ear causes an auricular hematoma. The skin separates from the cartilage below, and the cavity fills with fluid. Over the course of the next 2-4 days, that fluid will clot and calcify, and turn into what is known as cauliflower ear--a rock hard lump where that fluid-filled pocket used to be. To prevent cauliflower ear, the cavity will need to be drained, and then compressed to prevent refilling.

How long do I have to drain cauliflower ear?

You may have roughly two days to drain your ear, but in some cases, permanent cauliflower ear can form within 24 hours of the hematoma. This is why it is best to have CauliBuds on-hand before the injury occurs. Do not use ice to slow the healing process, as this may actually reduce blood flow and increase the speed at which the area clots.

What you’ll need:

  • Needle & Syringe (18-24 gauge) - You can obtain a clean needle at many pharmacies. Typically they are more difficult to purchase at the big chain pharmacies, as they have policies against selling them for non-prescription use. The syringe should be 3CC or larger (depending on the size of the hematoma).
  • Alcohol or Iodine
  • Sterile Gauze
  • CauliBuds Compression Kit

How to drain cauliflower ear with a syringe

Warning: If the hematoma is close to the ear canal, seek professional medical attention for treatment. Never insert a needle into your ear canal for any reason.

  1. Sterilize your ear with alcohol or iodine.
  2. Remove the cap from the syringe and locate the hematoma.
  3. Slowly insert the needle into the affected area, toward the bottom of the hematoma. Insert about 2 millimeters and draw back on the plunger to create a vacuum.
  4. Continue to press the needle further into the hematoma until the syringe begins to fill.
  5. Continue drawing back on the plunger until the cavity has fully drained
  6. Apply sterile gauze to the area to stop the bleeding
  7. Place the CauliBuds on the location where the hematoma was drained, to prevent the cavity from refilling.
  8. Wear CauliBuds for the next 48-72 hours, or until the ear has healed.

How long is the recovery process?

Full recovery from draining and treating cauliflower ear may take up to two weeks. Once the ear is drained, abstain from heavy cardiovascular activity for 24-48 hours, and wear CauliBuds underneath your ear guards while you train. Wear CauliBuds for 48-72 hours, or until the cavity stops refilling.

This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Always consult your doctor before attempting any procedure at home.