What Techniques Are Available for Ear Reductions?

What cosmetic surgery technique for ear reduction would leave the least amount of visible or obvious scarring?

Doctor Answers (10)

Techniques for Ear Reduction

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Most patients unhappy with their ears feel that they either stick out too much or that they are too large.  What others actually see the majority of the time is how much they stick out from the head.  Large earlobes are also quite visible.   Rather than reducing the cartilage ear size, I encourage patients to reduce the amount the ears stick out from the head.  This is done with an incision behind the ear which fades beautifully.  The earlobe can be reduced with an incision which fades nicely and is not very noticable.  These procedures produce ears which look smaller to others without the scarring or risks.

There are techniques to reduce the size of the ears vertically and in width, but these procedures involve removing large amounts of ear cartilage with incisions on the front of the ear.  A procedure which can reduce oversized ears is known as the Antia Bush procedure.  A google search will teach you more about this operation.  There are more scarring issues, healing problems, and other issues with these procedures.   I feel that are more reconstructive than cosmetic, and are not recommended for most patients unless the deformity is significant.

  Hope this review helps!    Dr. Bresnick


Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Ear reduction

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There are many different techniques to reduce ears.  If you justbwantnthe ears not to stick out too far, this can be corrected with incisions that are all on the posterior aspects of the ear so they are not at all visible

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Otoplasty can reshape the ears

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Most contemporary otoplasty techniques place an incision behind the ear where it is "hidden" resulting in no visible scars. Exactly what would be performed during surgery depends on which aspect of your ears you would like changed. Most changes can be made without any visible incisions. [Please purchase a license if using PhraseExpress for non-personal tasks] I hope this information is helpful.

Stephen Weber MD, FACS

Stephen Weber, MD, FACS
Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

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Otoplasty to carry out ear reduction

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What are the options? Well you can reduce your earlobes or the tops of  your ears. Reducing the earlobes is the easiest way to reduce the height of your ear. But if they are normal size reducing from the top is the next more complicated step. When you say reduce you may also mean reducing them in terms of how much they show from the side of your head. This would involve ear pinning otoplasty techniques.

Philip Young, MD
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Ear reduction

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There are no acceptable cosmetic procedures to reduce the size of ears.  This would involve numerous cuts through the ear that would result in multiple visible scars.  The otoplasty procedure involves an incision that is camouflaged behind the ear in such a fashion that it is not clearly visible.  The otoplasty involves recreates the antihelical fold of the ear in addition to setting the entire conchal bowl closer to the head and more posteriorly.  The ear no longer sticks out from the side of the head and is less prominent.  This can be done under a local or general anesthesia depending upon the patient’s desires.  

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

Ear reduction surgery.

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It depends on if your mean reducing the entire size of the ear--this leaves a scar onthe front of the ear--or moving the ear closer to the head do it does not stick out--scar behind the ear.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Ear surgery

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Well, it depends on what you're referring to.   If you're looking to have an ear lobe made a bit smaller or have less of a tear drop look a simple wedge excsion does well.  The incision is fine and if you wear ear rings you can't see it.

If you're asking about otoplasty or "ear pinning" that a little different.  The incisions for this are placed in the crease behind your ear where it's hidden and it looks great.

Hope this helps.

Chase Lay, MD

Chase Lay, MD
Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Scarring From Ear And Earlobe Reductions

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There are a variety of techniques for earlobe reduction. One of the methods is removal of excess earlobe along the lower rim and this would produce the least visible scarring as it would not be on the outer surface of the earlobe. When it comes to total ear height reduction, however, a wedge of cartilage is removed and the incision must cross the outer helical rim where some visible scarring will be evident. With good surgical technique and placement of the wedge exicison, this helical rim scarring can be minimized.

Barry L. Eppley, MD, DMD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Ear Reduction leaves minimally visible scars

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Different parts of the ear can be reduced in size or prominence and there are different methods for each.  The least noticeable scars are left behind when an Otoplasty is performed.  This is a procedure that is used to make the ears stick out less from the side of the head.  There are other maneuvers that can be done during Otoplasty as well to address different cosmetic concers with the various parts of the ear.

Earlobe reduction is a bit different.  Unfortunately, to adequately reduce the earlobe and produce a natural appearing result, incisions must be made on the face of the earlobe.  Fortunately, these scars heal remarkably well and there is often a crease/wrinkle that can be used in older individuals.  

Please check out my website for some before & after photos!

Andrew Winkler, MD
Lone Tree Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Ear Reduction

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Thank you for the question.

Unfortunately, ear reduction surgery will inevitably  result in a scar line  on the anterior surface of the ear. The location of the scar will depend on what portion of the ear  is shortened.  The resulting scar may be barely visible or highly visible depending on  the individual patient's scarring and the surgeon's  technique. It is important with this procedure to avoid contour depression  in the area of the incision line.

It would behoove you to be examined in person by a  well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon.

I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 703 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.