One ear different from the other. What type of surgery and the cost? (photo)

My one ear is different from the other. It looks like theres no fold (?), kind of like the top part is not attached. Is there a surgery to fix it and how much would it cost? I want it to look similar to the right ear.

Doctor Answers 6

Asymmetric ears

You can have a one-sided otoplasty to improve your more prominent ears.
The peak in the cartilage on that side can be correction at the same time.
Cost varies by region. Call several plastic surgeons near you to get an idea for your area.
Best wishes.

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

One ear different from the other. What type of surgery and the cost?

Otoplasty may cost $4000 on the low end.

Find a board certified plastic surgeon who regularly performs ear correction surgeries. Then look at the plastic surgeon's website before and after photo galleries to get a sense of who can deliver the results.

Kenneth Hughes, MD

Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 492 reviews

One ear different from the other. What type of surgery?

Hello user13324,
From what I can see in the photos, there are 2 reasons why your left ear sticks further out from your head than your right ear:
  • 1.The distance of it to the head is slightly greater than that of the right ear.
  • 2. In the upper third, it has a special anatomical feature that isn’t present to this degree in the other ear. The outer ear edge, called helix in medical terms, is shovel-shaped and bent forwards and outwards in the upper third, has a significantly greater distance to the inner ear fold – called antihelix – than the left ear, and it also has a prominent so-called Darwin’s tubercle (cornu cutaneum). As you have asked after a method that can solve the problem, you can either have it done with one of the traditional methods, by which the ear must be cut open once more, or you can have it done with the new minimally invasive stitch method, by which the only wounds are the stitch points that are made on both sides of the ear. Basically, you should know, however, that due to the special anatomy of your left ear, even if it is pinned again, more of the upper third of this ear will always be seen than the corresponding upper third of the other ear, if viewed from the middle of the head.

Waldemar Merck, MD
Germany Plastic Surgeon

One ear different from the other. What type of surgery and the cost?

Yes, the symmetry in your ears can be improved. The procedure is called otoplasty. A one-sided otoplasty can be performed but most often both sides are treated (as long as both protrude to some degree). The cost will vary depending upon your location, the surgeon you choose and whether one or both sides are operated on. A reasonable price range would be $2500-6000.

Stephen Weber MD, FACS
Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon

Stephen Weber, MD, FACS
Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 129 reviews

Protruding ears

The operation is called an otoplasty and is performed under light sedation or GA.
From the photos, it looks like you need the conchal bowl set back and the anti-helical fold tightened a bit.

Cost in about $5000. in Canada 

David A. F. Ellis, MD
Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon
3.5 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Surgery can improve this

Surgery to improve the contour and shape of your ear is called an "Otoplasty". From your pictures you can see that the natural folds of your ear are less pronounced on the left side. Your left ear also looks smaller although this may be due to the way the photo was taken. If it is truly smaller, than that will limit the symmetry of your final result. There are options to obtain the improvements you are looking for. You will need an in person consultation to further asses your ears and discuss your options. Best of luck.

Joshua Rosenberg, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 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.