Correcting One Ear That Sticks Out More Than The Other

Q : I have one ear that sticks out more than the other. My right ear is just fine and looks good. But the top of my left ear sticks out further than the right and it bothers me. This seems like it would be a simple thing to fix. How is it done? Does it require surgery to fix it?

A: The position of the ear and its angular relationship to the side of the head is the result of the shape of the ear cartilage. The ear cartilage has many folds and grooves. If one of these folds is not quite bent or shaped symmetrically, the ear will stick out further from the side of the head.

Otoplasty, or ear cartilage reshaping, is done but rebending the ear with sutures from an incision on the backside of the ear. With this technique, much of the ear can be brought back and made less prominent. When only one part of the ear is protruding out, a single suture can usually solve the problem. ‘Mini-otoplasties’ can be done under local anesthesia in the office in a short period of time. There are no dressings to wear afterwards. One does have to be careful not to pull on the ear or traumatize it in the first months after surgery to prevent dislodging the retaining suture as the ear heals.  

Dr. Barry Eppley