Prominent ears

Prominent ears are a source of teasing for children and embarrassment for adults. I have corrected prominent ears of all ages from 4 to the mid-fifties. Alas, no insurance company pays for this procedure.

The operation takes about an hour and a quarter. It can be done at my clinic under local anaesthetic (LA) or at a private hospital under general anaesthetic (GA).  Needless to say the clinic version is less expensive but requires that you cope with being awake during the procedure. If you are anxious about this then I can prescribe oral medication to be taken 45 minutes before the procedure. I  will not give intravenous sedation at my clinic. Injection of the local anaesthetic takes an unpleasant minute on each side. After that the procedure is pain free.  

The operation is done through an incision in the groove behind the ears, so the scar is out of sight from the beginning. The ear cartilage, which is responsible for its shape, is exposed and modified, and the skin stitched. A head bandage is applied which must stay for 5 to 7 days. Long acting local anaesthetic is still used if the operation is done under GA. The ears are pain free for the first 4 to 6 hours but the 24 hours after that are moderately to severely painful requiring the use of plenty of oral painkillers. The pain usually settles rapidly after that.

The  stitches behind the ear are absorbable material and simply have to have their ends snipped off at 1 to 2 weeks. 

When the bandage is first taken off the ears are usually a bit swollen and bruised but by the end of the second week they are fully presentable. A band needs to be worn around the ears at night for a further 2 weeks to prevent them from being inadvertently flipped forward while asleep.

For three months or so the ears will feel stiffer than normal, be tender if bumped and have some numb patches of skin.


  • Hypertrophic or keloid scarring is relatively uncommmon.  Should it happen it can usually be controlled with steroid injections into the scar.
  • Asymmetry of ear projection.   I have not needed to resort to surgical revision more than three or four times in the last 20 years.
  • see risks common to all operations.

Contact Details



5 Naseby St




FaxF: 03 355 9249

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