Macrotia - Large Ears & Lobes
The ear is often described in thirds, vertically. The central third is known as the conchal hollow, the upper third is the scaphal hollow and the lower third is the lobe.
Sometimes the ear is too large in all dimensions, and it is possible to reduce both the height and the width of the ear. If the upper third is out of balance, with a large, flat scaphal hollow, the ear can look top heavy, like an upturned pyramid.
If the lobe is too large, then the ear looks bottom heavy, or pear-shaped.
Below, on the left, the ear had been left too tall and thin by previous unsatisfactory surgery, and the goal was to rebalance it to look more natural and less angular.
Occasionally one large ear becomes smaller, perhaps after an accident or because a tumour has been removed, for example, but after reconstructive surgery, it ends up looking the more attractive of the two, so the larger ear can be reduced in size to match.
In patients with neurofibromatosis, the ear is often enlarged and in the wrong place on the side of the head. Some lymph tissue growths can involve the ear and sometimes block the ear canal.
The procedure to treat large ears is known as Ear Reduction (click here for more information).
It is possible to reduce only the top part of the ear (the upper pole), the lobe, or both the upper pole and the lobe at the same time, as below, where the goal was to make the ear more petite and feminine:
Large Ear Lobes
Reduction of the size of large ear lobes is a common request. Normal ear lobes do not contain cartilage, and it is possible to remove a part to make them significantly smaller.
An over-large lobe is common when a giant birthmark involves the ear.
Normal sized ear lobes which stick out from the rest of the ear can also be addressed with a modified version of this technique, and unlike the main part of the ear, the size and the position of the lobes can be corrected in one procedure.
Lobe surgery is relatively minor, taking about 45 minutes per lobe, usually under local anaesthetic.