Ear Surgery for Asymmetrical Ears?

Help! My ears are different. One is close to the head and the other one is prominent. Can this be corrected? What is it called?

Doctor Answers 14

One sided otoplasty may be needed

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Ear asymmetries are very common. It sounds like you need an Otoplasty on the more prominent side. This procedure consists of a remodeling of the cartigae of the ear via incision behind the ear. The goal of the procedure would be to get the shape of your to be more similar, absolute symmetry is not however possible.

It is called prominent ears

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It is very common to have differences in ear shape and size. What you describe is known as prominent ears and it can be treated with an otoplasty (some people call it ear-pinning). Look on this web site under otoplasty and you will se a picture of a young adult male with a problem similar to what you describe. The procedure is sometimes done on both ears. The ears will never be exactly alike, but the differences in how much they stick out from the head can be minimized.

You May Want Otoplasty

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Otoplasty is a procedure designed to reduce ear prominence. Most often, both ears are effected although asymmetry is common. If one ear appears right and the other one protruding, one-sided otoplasty through an incision placed in the crease behind the ear can correct this issue.

Best of luck!

Frank P. Fechner, MD
Worcester Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Otoplasty for Ear Asymmetry

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It’s not unusual for patients who undergo otoplasty, to have baseline ear asymmetry.  This asymmetry may occur for a variety of reasons.  These include asymmetry of the skull, ear size, ear shape and ear position.  In your case, you have a condition known as a unilateral prominent ear.

Correction of this problem usually requires a setback otoplasty.  In some cases a bilateral procedure may be necessary to attain symmetry.  The surgical correction for asymmetry can be highly successful in this situation.

In other cases, it can be virtually impossible to create symmetry.  In cases where skull asymmetry is present or when the ear is abnormally positioned, symmetry is probably not possible.  Under these circumstances, it may be more appropriate to disguise the asymmetry.

When this type of situation arises consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon is appropriate.  This surgeon should be able to formulate a treatment plan that’s appropriate for your problem.

Otoplasty for asymmetrical ears

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 Most patients when they have prominent ears have an asymmetry to them. This is taken into account when performing the otoplasty procedure to make some symmetrical and even. 

Yes I very commonly perform setback otoplasty in patients who have asymmetry in the projection of their ears.

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You have to decide whether you would like to have both ears set back or just the one that is more projected.  The surgery is performed under local anesthesia as an outpatient.  The healing time is one week and you would need to wear a head-band at night time for three months to prevent your ear from being pulled forward while you are turning your head in your sleep.

Asymmetric Ears

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Your concern is a common one.  Ears are never perfectly symmetric, but when the asymmetry is very visible, this can be a source of distress and self consciousness.


There is an excellent operation to correct this problem.  The procedure is called otoplasty, and consists of making an incision behind each ear, reshaping the ear cartilage, and sometimes removing excessive cartilage.  This shapes the ears, and allows the ears to sit back more snugly toward the head in a natural position.  Some patients with asymmetry may be candidates for one-sided surgery only on the more prominent ear, while other patients may benefit from surgery on both ears to achieve the most symmetric shape and results.


Always make sure your surgeon is a board certified plastic surgeon with experience with otoplasty surgery.


All the best,

Dr. Skourtis

Mia E. Skourtis, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon

Otoplasty can help improve asymmetric ears

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It is actually fairly common for individuals with prominent ears to have one ear more prominent than the other.  While I always caution that there may always be some slight asymmetry after surgery, we are often able to make bring the ears within 2 mm of each other.

Before the surgery, your surgeon will carefully examine both ears and determine what is causing the asymmetry.  Is one ear missing a fold?  Is the cartilage stiffer in one?  Every ear is different, even the left and right in one individual, so careful examination before the surgery is important!

Ultimately, otoplasty surgery can get both those ears close to your head so people are noticing your eyes and your smile, not your one ear!


Please feel free to click on the link below to review our before and after photos of this surgery.

Asymmetric ear deformity

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Asymmetrical ears can be corrected but it truly depends on whether the appearance of the less pronounced ear warrangs treatment. If yes, bilateral otoplasty is performed whereas a minor ear deformity may go untreated and focus will be placed on the more severe deformity.

Asymmetries are common in ears

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In many patients seeking reshaping of the ears (Otoplasty), one ear protrudes more than the other.  This is often due to a very deep conchal bowl (the central part of the ear).  This can be corrected with an Otoplasty with excellent results.

Robert Mounsey, MD
Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon

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.