Dr Nicholas Lotz
Specialist Plastic Surgeon
Main Rooms
Level 1 357 Military Rd
Appointments & Enquiries
Ph: 1300 304 209
Fax: 02 9904 0166

Ear Reduction Surgery

The following information sheet is intended to assist patients undergoing ear reduction surgery with Dr Nicholas Lotz.


Ear Reduction Surgery

Ear reduction surgery is performed to reduce the size of unnaturally large ears.

Other than being concerned about ears that look big because they stick out from the side of the head, some people are actually concerned about the size of their ears. This can be due to an enlargement of the top portion of the ear (the “scapha”), or the lower part of the ear (the “lobule”).

Anatomy of the ear

The image below shows the external anatomy of the ear.

Correction of excessively large ears can help restore the natural proportions of an ear, and can also help correct size discrepancies between the two ears. This can help you feel more able to have a short hair style or wear your hair up.

Sometimes, if the ears are also sticking out from the side of the head, an otoplasty (prominent ear correction) may be performed in combination with ear reduction surgery.

Ear Reduction Surgery

Before the

During your initial consultation, Dr Lotz will spend time with you discussing exactly what your concerns about your ears are. Sometimes patients find it helpful to bring along photographs of their own ears that they have altered to give an idea of the results would ideally like. Whilst there is no guarantee that this will be able to be achieved, it is often helpful to get an idea of how much of a change in the appearance of your ears you would ideally like to achieve.

Dr Lotz will be able to show you photographs of other patients who have undergone ear reduction surgery, so you have an idea what to expect with respect to results, recovery, scars and any possible risks. It is important to note that the ears can only reduced to a certain amount, otherwise the relative proportions of the ear can start to look out of balance. Photographs will be taken of your ears during the consultation.

You will be sent an information pack further explaining the procedure, along with a detailed, personalised quotation which explains all the relevant costs pertaining to the procedure as well and any heath fund or Medicare rebates applicable.

Depending on your age and the type of alterations that your ears require, there may be some coverage by Medicare or your Health Fund for the surgery. An exact quotation for you will be provided for you after your consultation with Dr Lotz.

Ear Reduction Surgery

After the surgery

Post-operative care

Usually the only dressings required are small, skin-coloured tapes designed to hide the stitches. You will be allowed to shower and get the ears wet a day after the surgery. In most cases only simple pain medications like Panadol are required. Most patients are able to return to work a day or two after the surgery.

Follow-up & Recovery

The stitches will be removed a week after the surgery, and you will be given instructions as to how to manage the scars.

The results of the surgery are immediate, and very little swelling is expected once the stitches have been removed. 

Risks of ear reduction surgery

Fortunately the ears tend to heal quickly and the scars usually hide very well. Potential complications that can occur include:

  • Visible scars (they can be red for a while, or sometimes indented on the helical rim)
  • Thick keloid scars (particularly if you have had scarring issues before)
  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Dissatisfaction with the proportions of the new ear
  • Healing issues
  • Asymmetry between the ears
  • Puckering at the ends of the scars
  • Sensitive or painful ears
Ear Reduction Surgery

Before & After

Case Example: 1

Ear reduction – reduction of both lobule and upper part of the ear.
Ear Reduction Surgery

Before & After

Case Example: 2

This 44 year old man has had an ear reduction. The upper part of his ear has been reduced in size, and this has also has the effect of creating a more folded helical rim
Ear Reduction Surgery

Frequently Asked Questions

Are large earlobes inherited?

The tendency towards large earlobes and floppy earlobes can be inherited. This inherited tendency is enhanced by the lengthening caused by heavy earrings.

Will my earlobes be perfectly symmetrical after the procedure?

Most patients start with ear lobes that are different. This is taken into account to achieve the greatest symmetry possible, but perfect symmetry is rare both naturally and with surgery.

Is there an ideal age for ear reduction surgery?

This surgery can be performed at any age. Ear lobes will tend to increase in size with age and heavy earrings, but some people are born with large ears and have ear reduction surgery in their early 20s.

Considering plastic surgery?

If you would like further information or if you wish to make an appointment to discuss ear surgery with Dr Nicholas Lotz, please contact our rooms.