Dr. Dirk Lazarus

Plastic, Reconstructive & Cosmetic Surgeon

MBChB (UCT), FCS (SA) Plast & Recon Surg

Ear Correction

I manage a number or ear problems including protruding or bat ears, earlobe reduction, split earlobe repair (see the video at the bottom of the page), ear tags, skin cancers of the ear, etc.

All ear surgery on adults is performed as day case surgery (in and out the same day) in my own, private facility. The procedure is done under local anaesthesia (no worse than going to the dentist), but sometimes sedation is given. Surgery is usually performed in the morning and you will be discharged home later that same day.

Protruding or bat ears can be corrected by an otoplasty procedure. Bat ears may be due to either an excessively deep concha (meaning shell) or an inadequate antihelical fold or both.

Eare

The ear, antihelical fold and concha

To correct bat ears, an incision is made in the groove behind the ear and some tissue is removed. The commonest issue is a deep concha and to correct this the concha is sutured back with permanent sutures to approximate it closer to the head. To create or deepen the antihelical fold the cartilage is sutured back on itself behind the ear with permanent sutures. Often both procedures are required. Once the ear is correctly placed, then I close the cut behind the ear with dissolving sutures.

Post-operatively you will need to wear a head bandage for about 5 days. There will still be some swelling and bruising of the ear after removal of the bandage, but this will not be that apparent to other people and you will be able to start resuming normal activities. The swelling and bruising take about another week to settle. You should wait a month before resuming sports and 6 weeks for contact sports.

The ears, once set back, should remain back in their new position, although some settling in can be expected.

Before and after correction of bat ears

Before and after correction of bat ears

 

Earlobe reduction can be performed either by taking out a wedge of tissue or by cutting along the edge to remove the excess. Once the extra tissue is removed, fine sutures are used to close the wound and small plaster dressing is required. The procedure is performed under local anaesthesia and usually sedation is not required so you can drive to and from the clinic. Sutures are removed at around day 10. There is minimal downtime from this procedure and the scar is acceptable.

Edge Excision and Wedge Excision

Earlobe reduction using Edge excision

Earlobe reduction using Wedge excision

Page last updated 21 July 2020

Testimonials

It’s been 14 years but still I think how you changed my life and to think I wanted [facial] implants but you said no I needed to do it the long way [nose job, ear reduction, liposuction, jaw advancement surgery done with a maxilla-facial surgeon after orthodontics] and you were so right, I thought it would become the normal and forget what I did after a year or two but after all this time it still feels so good and I still feel that good feeling of having it done ! – Michael

Male