Is It Possible to Reduce Ear Lobe Size?

If ear lobes are too large, can they be cut away to reduce size while also pinning back and/or reshaping the main ear?

Doctor Answers 50

Earlobe reduction with otoplasty

Earlobe reduction may be performed on its own, usually in women with stretched-out earlobes from years of dangling earrings. This may be performed in two ways:

1. Marginal earlobe excision: The desired new earlobe contour is drawn on the earlobe, and the excess skin below this drawing is removed, creating a scar on the lower margin of the earlobe.

2. Wedge earlobe excision: A full-thickness triangle of excessive earlobe is removed, creating a vertical lobe scar.

Although these procedures can be performed in conjunction with otoplasty (ear pinning), usually otoplasty benefits simply require reduced projection of the earlobe from the head, rather than an actual earlobe reduction.

Plano Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Earlobe reduction

Thanks for asking. Earlobes requiring repair can be from a variety of reasons. For example, a torn earlobe from a pulled earring, gauged earlobes that are now unwanted, facelift surgery causing pulled earlobes, or just simply elongated from older age.

Because of the variety of different causes, earlobe repair may vary in complexity. Prices will vary accordingly. and also vary depending on the region of the country you are in and the surgeon's expertise.

Typically to reduce and earlobe, a triangle wedge of earlobe is excised and then carefully sutured together. I have some special techniques that I employ to minimize scarring and notching that can be seen if not reconstructed properly.

This repair can be performed comfortably under local anesthesia and earlobes can be re-pierced 6 weeks later if desired. Consult with an experienced board certified facial plastic / plastic surgeon in you area.

Raymond E. Lee, MD
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Is It Possible to Reduce Ear Lobe Size?

Yes.  Keep in mind that earlobe reduction is different than otoplasty.  Earlobe reduction can be done several ways, but the key is to take out the appropriate volume for the best cosmetic appearance and to hide the scars so nobody needs to know!  Often this is done in combination with removal of the ear piercing site if they have been stretched over time, but the earlobes can be re-pierced when fully healed.  Wishing you all the best.
Garrett A. Wirth, MD, MS, FACS

Garrett A. Wirth, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Earlobe shortening and pinning

It is possible to reshape the earlobe and or shorten the earlobe if they have been stretched with time, or carried the burden of heavy ear rings for prolonged periods of time. This can also be done at the same time as pinning the ears back. I would definitely see a board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss the different options and techniques with you after a consultation and physical exam.

Young R. Cho, MD, PhD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Reduction of earlobes

Reduction of earlobes is a common procedure.  This can be done alone, with otoplasty, or other facial procedures..  We usually take a wedge out of the earlobe and suture the clean edges to heal.  The sutures usually stay in 10 days.  At that time, we can re-pierce the ear if you desire. This is a simple procedure, and can be done in an office setting.

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

Ear lobe reduction

Earlobe reduction can be carried out  as an isolated procedure or in conjuction with otoplasty surgery.  Ear lobe reduction generally is carried out by wedge  ear lobe excision or by marginal incision along the ear lobe rim.  I generally use a C02 laser cutting device for precise bloodless excision. This is done in my private surgical facility. The procedure takes only 15 minutes a side.   Small sutures are used to repair the ear lobe which either dissolve or are removed in one week. 

Philip Solomon, MD, FRCS
Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

Ear lobe reduction

Reducing the size of stretched earlobes can be performed either as a stand alone procedure or in conjunction with otoplasty. Either procedure can usually be performed under local anesthesia in the office surgery suite.

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Ear lobe reduction and otoplasty

 Ear lobe  reduction and otoplasty may be done at the same time.

You may be a good candidate for this procedure. However you must consider the degree of “deformity” (your concern about the size of the ear lobe) against the potential complications that may arise after surgery. For example, depending on your skin type, you may end up with raised or pigmented scars that may bother you more than the initial earlobe size. Furthermore the scars may be difficult to treat/improve.

You may also end up with overly–reduced earlobes  and/or earlobe asymmetry.

Make sure you consult with a well-trained/experienced/ethical plastic surgeon to address her concerns. Best wishes.


Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,487 reviews

Ear lobe repair in Atlanta

Ear lobes can be reduced in size.  There are different techniques depending on the earlobe, the number of piercings, and length of the earlobe.  This procedure can be performed in the office under local anesthesia under 20 min or can be combined with other procedures such as otoplasty or facelift.  Most individuals who need ear lobe repair are women who have long earlobes from many years of wearing heavy earrings or multiple earrings at one time.  Others have traumatic ear lobe tears from having their earring catch on something and causing the tear.  Some individuals have gauged ears that are stretched that need to be reconstructed.

Earlobes increase in length also as a result of volume loss within the earlobe itself.  Sometimes, depending on the earlobe, it can be injected with a filler such as Restylane or Juvederm to 'inflate' the tissue to reposition it to where it was in youth. 

Mike Majmundar, MD
Atlanta Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Earlobe Reduction Surgery

As we age, various parts of our face and body sag, or as I like to say, “we are going South”. Earlobes are not immune to elongating with age. Men are bothered by this but women really despise the problem. Fortunately, it is a problem easily resolved. It is a very common “add-on” during facelift surgery. It can also be done under local anesthesia as an isolated procedure.

Harold J. Kaplan, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 6 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.