Can My Big Earlobes Be Reduced?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I have large earlobes and I want to get them reduced. I have always had them since I was child. I was constantly teased about them even by my parents and it has bothered me deeply ever since. They simply don’t fit with the rest of my ear. They are big, floppy and hang down. I am now 45 years old and have decided it is time to finally do something about it. How is earlobe reduction surgery done? What is the recovery and is the scarring bad?

A: The earlobe is uniquely different than the rest of the ear since it does not contain any cartilage. It can become big either by genetics (as in your case) or from becoming stretched over time by ear ring wear and gravity. Either way, earlobe reduction is a fairly simple surgery that canbe done under local anesthesia in the office. The earlobe is cut down in size by removing a central wedge of tissue, reducing both its height and width. Usual reduction is around 50%. There are no dressings used and the tiny sutures on the outside of the earlobe are removed one week later. You can shower and wash your hair the very next day. Scars on the earlobes heal so well that three months after surgery that are undetectable.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana