Otoplasty or Macrotia?

I want to get an otoplasty surgery because my ears aren't too stick out of my head, but they're 60% stick out of my head, so they look pretty large, and they are, so, when you undergo a otoplasty, is the surgeon able to make your ears smallers? Because I don't like the helix and the earlobe, they look really fat to me. so, is it possible to do these procedures? thanks ! PS: I added a picture so you can comment about it :).

Doctor Answers (6)

Its not always as simple as it seems

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As an ENT and a Facial plastic surgeon I have found that the traditional otoplasty surgery does not address many of the fundamental and very individual problems with people's ears. For example: looking at your picture I see that the bowl of your ear (the concha) is overlay prominent. One way to reduce the size of the ear is to reduce the visual prominence. So I would argue that you may not have to have an outside scar on the ear if setting it back is all that it needs. Be sure to speak with someone who has lots of experience with ears as this is not a cookie cutter operation


Madison Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Reducing the SIZE of the ear

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Reduciing the ear lobe is relatively simple but does require a scar on the front of the ear. Ototplasty or ear pinning surgery most commonly reduces the projection (sticking out) rather than the size of the ear. Reducing the size is a more complex procedure which can be done but does involve substantially more scarring and can be done with a variety of different techniques from a wedge shaped removal with closure or a removal of the helical rim followed by reduction and subsequent repair of the rim.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

What can be accomplished with otoplasty

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The otoplasty procedure is a procedure done to pin the ears back. There is not a way to make the ears drastically smaller, other than trimming the earlobes back conservatively. When you have an otoplasty the ears should look natural, not overdone. Both ears should be balanced because each ear is asymmetrical compared to the opposite side. There is at least a 10% chance of a touchup procedure at six months to a year down the road as one ear may become asymmetrical compared to the opposite side. The otoplasty operation goals are to recreate the antihelical fold and to set the conchal bowl back when hypertrophied.  

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

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Otoplasty Ear Surgery to Reduce Size of Protruding or "Dumbo" Ears

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Hi Alann in Miami,

Otoplasty surgery reduces the size of the ears, change the position of the ears, and/or alters the shape of the ears. Typically, many patients benefit from a combination of removing cartilage, moving cartilage, and changing cartilage shape. Plastic surgery for the ear is commonly performed via an incision hidden behind the ear. For children, light anesthesia would be required. For adults, however, ear pinning surgery could be performed via local anesthesia.

It's very difficult to determine ear surgery for you based on a single photograph. Only after a comprehensive evaluation can a ear plastic surgeon help determine appropriate options for you. Best of luck.

Houtan Chaboki, MD
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Lop (Dumbo) Ear correction - Otoplasty

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Regarding:  "I want to get an otoplasty surgery because my ears aren't too stick out of my head, but they're 60% stick out of my head, so they look pretty large, and they are, so, when you undergo a otoplasty, is the surgeon able to make your ears smallers? Because I don't like the helix and the earlobe, they look really fat to me. so, is it possible to do these procedures? thanks ! PS: I added a picture so you can comment about it :)."

For a professional opinion you really need to be seen by a Plastic surgeon or submit several professional photographs based on which we can advise you. While the photograph submitted is better than nothing it cannot be the basis of a thorough analysis. A photograph from the back with the hair pulled away from the ears and one from the front would demonstrate the distance between the ear and the side of the head. Photographs from the side would demonstrate the degree of various ear structures and the balance between them.

From the photograph you submitted which is taken of the right ear in between a side and back view, it APPEARS the superior part of the anti helical fold is under developed and that you have a large conchal bowl with some increased distance from the head. ALL of these can be improved significantly with an Otoplasty.

For best results, look for an experienced Plastic surgeon.

Dr. Peter Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
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Otoplasty Surgery For Prominent Ear

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It would be best to see a series of photos of your entire face to determine ear size and positioning relative to your other facial features. That being said, it sounds like you might benefit from otoplasty, which is indeed a procedure that can make your ears smaller. In most cases, it is more a matter of bringing the ear closer to your head. In doing so, it gives the illusion that your ears are less prominent and, therefore, smaller. I will normally also bring the earlobe inward during an otoplasty procedure but do not usually make the actual lobe smaller. Make sure you consult with a facial plastic surgery specialist who performs otoplasty, or ear reshaping, on a regular basis and has plenty of photos of their work. Good luck.

John M. Hilinski, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
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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.