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Is is Possible to Have Ear Surgery on Just One Ear?

I have one ear that sticks out farther than my other one. A friend told me that if I wanted to have it fixed I would have to have surgery on both of them. Is that true?

Doctor Answers (40)

One Ear At A Time

+2

Otoplasty can be performed on one ear or both ears. The key factor is to find out what characteristics of your ear you would like to change. Most of the time, there is an effort to make them less prominent.


Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Otoplasty: Ear Pinning Surgery; Measurements and Technique

+2

Otoplasty is a procedure whereby the ear is outwardly displaced. It can occur because of a number of different reasons including loss of the antihelical fold, a large conchal bowl, trauma, and a conchoscaphal angle greater than 90 degrees.

Experience is important in correction of ear deformities. On initial consultation, a surgeon will measure specific measurements of the ear. A patient may think they only have one ear that is protruded but by measurement may have both ears protruding. These measurements are based on aesthetic anatomic criteria and should be adhered to so as not to undercorrect or overcorrect.

The four different surgeries in otoplasty should be performed by a plastic and reconstructive surgeon. These are the most effective treatments:

  • Scaphoconchal sutures
  • Conchomastoid sutures
  • Conchal excision
  • Excision of posterior skin

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Unilateral otoplasty

+2

Otoplasty can be performed on one ear.

Find a board certified plastic surgeon who will be able to analyze the structure of your ears and explain why they are different shapes (is the a lack of cartilage folding? Is there excess cartilage).

Once those determinations have been made it should be straightforward to provide surgical correction to the ear that causes you concern.

I hope this helps.

Steven Williams, MD

Steven H. Williams, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

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It is okay to operate on just one ear.

+2

Maria,

Good news... You do not have to have both of your ear operated on to achieve good symmetry. The best thing is for your to go see a qualified plastic surgeon for a consultation. If only one ear has a problem, then only that ear needs the operation. There is no need to operate on the good ear.

I hope this is helpful.

David Shafer, MD
New York City

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Unilateral Procedure for Ear Asymmetry

+1

In many cases correction of ear asymmetry can be accomplished with a unilateral procedure.  Unfortunately in some cases it may not be possible to obtain symmetry in this manner and performing surgery on both sides may be necessary.  Under these circumstances, fine adjustments in both ears may be necessary to accomplish symmetry and optimize the surgical result.

                  If you’re considering otoplasty, it’s important to discuss this issue with your plastic surgeon.  Under these circumstances, most surgeons will attempt a unilateral procedure, but will want the latitude to perform a bilateral otoplasty if necessary.

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 73 reviews

Otoplasty for asymmetry

+1
 The otoplasty procedure can be performed on one ear to match the other one, or on both ears to make them both symmetrical.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

Ear Surgery On One Ear

+1

During my consultations with patients, I carefully examine the structure of the ears and discuss possibilities for correcting the problems. In some cases, even if only one ear needs “pinning back,” surgery may be recommended on both ears to achieve the most balanced and symmetrical appearance. It all depends on how your ears are positioned and at that point, we would be able to determine the best techniques for surgery.

Carlo Honrado, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

It is definitely possible to do ear surgery on one ear.

+1

Correction of the degree of projection of the ear can be surgically altered with a high degree of accuracy and with predictable results.  The surgery is done under local anesthesia.  I often have patients look in the mirror during surgery to assess if they are happy with the position and symmetry of their ears.

Leila Kasrai, MD, FRCSC
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Unilateral otoplasty

+1
If one ear is farther from the skull or is otherwise improperly formed or situated, unilateral otoplasty would be appropriate. You should see a board certified plastic surgeon in consultation to discuss your expectations and goals.

Robert L. Kraft, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Otoplasty sutures

+1

Fortunately your friend is not correct. Otoplasty may be performed on one year ear only. It is important to be examined by a well-qualified/experienced surgeon to help you determine the benefits of operating on one or both ears. You should also be aware that despite surgery, the ears will likely not be perfectly matched. Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 684 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.