Q: Dr. Eppley, I am interested in an otoplasty procedure. I have always had protruding ears but it was much more manageable before I began losing my hair as the hair would make it much less noticeable. My right ear sticks out significantly further than the left one but they are both protruding.

A: The good news is that protruding ears can be very effectively reshaped into a more normal and less obvious position on the side of the head with traditional otoplasty surgery. Done through an incision on the back of the ears, the antihelical fold and conchal cartilage of the ears are reshaped using permanent suture techniques. Both the position and the asymmetry of the ears can be improved with otoplasty surgery.

Protruding ears and ear asymmetry are very common with many skull shape deformities. In occipital plagiocephaly, for example, the ear on the side of the head where the occipital skull is flatter is always pushed further forward and sticks out more than the other ear. Otoplasty and skull reshaping surgery is often done together for a more complete craniofacial makeover and due to the convenience of surgical access in the sam region.

Dr. Barry Eppley
Indianapolis, Indiana