Ear Reduction surgery is a procedure that reduces the size of the ear for patients with macrotia, or enlarged ears. Macrotia is less common than prominent ears, in which the ears angle outwards from the sides of the head. However, some patients have oversized ears that also protrude prominently. Luckily, both conditions can be corrected with otoplasty during the same surgical session.
Macrotia is diagnosed when a patient has ears that extend beyond the average proportions. In most people, the top of the ear, or helix, reaches the same height as the eyebrow. The lobule, or ear lobe typically aligns with the alar rim, or bottom of the nostril. Leonardo da Vinci documented these proportions in his drawings, but evidence of these standards can be seen in art created well before the Renaissance, and these ideal proportions are ubiquitous in ancient Greco-Roman sculpture. (image of da Vinci drawing)
Ear reduction surgery removes excess cartilage to reduce the length and or width of macrotic ears. (1) If the size of your ears is troubling you, an ear reduction surgery can address your concerns. Dr. John E. Sherman has helped thousands of patients transform the size and structure of their ears over the 35 years of his practice. Your otoplasty will be tailored to your wishes and unique anatomy to create proportional ears with natural contours. To learn more about this procedure and how it can improve your appearance, schedule a consultation at our Upper East Side offices. Call 212.535.2300 to get started.
During your personal consultation, Dr. Sherman will examine the structure of your ears and how they relate to the proportions of your other facial features in order to determine the best approach. Depending on the shape and angling of your ears, he will decide which areas of the ear to reduce, and whether an ear pinback technique would be a beneficial addition.
Adult ear reduction surgery can be performed at our in-house ambulatory surgery center and only requires local anesthesia. However, if the patient wishes, sedation anesthesia supervised by a board-certified anesthesiologist can also be administered. This operation typically takes 2-3 hours, depending on the corrections being performed.
After the anesthesia has taken effect and Dr. Sherman has made markings, he will create an incision along the inside of the helix (curved outer edge of the upper ear), which may be combined with an additional incision on the back of the ear. Ultimately, one or more sections of cartilage are removed to reduce the size of the ear. (2) The incisions are then sutured closed, and any scarring is concealed in the structures of the ear. The head is wrapped in bandages, and the patient is sent home with a hairdressing that will be removed 5-7 days later. About 10 days after the surgery, the sutures are removed, unveiling the patient’s smaller, more proportional ears. In about 2 months, the swelling will have diminished, and the final results will become visible.
To learn more about ear reduction surgery for macrotia and correction of prominent ears, schedule a consultation with Dr. Sherman. Call 212.535.2300 to reach our Manhattan office and set up an appointment.
- Yuen A, Coombs CJ. Reduction otoplasty: correction of the large or asymmetric ear. Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. 2006;30(6):675-678. doi:10.1007/s00266-006-0119-3
- Sinno S, Chang JB, Thorne CH. Precision in otoplasty: combining reduction otoplasty with traditional otoplasty. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. 2015;135(5):1342-1348. doi:10.1097/PRS.0000000000001225