Quaba Plastic Surgery

Prominent Ears / Split Ear Lobes

Prominent ear correction (otoplasty) can improve the appearance of your ears. Split Ear Lobes can be easily repaired as an outpatient procedure.

Approximately 1-2% of the population have ears that stick out too far. For some people, this can cause them to become self-conscious, and name-calling and teasing can occur. Pinnaplasty is the name given to the operation to correct prominent ears. The procedure is also known as otoplasty (oto = ear).

Split ear lobes can occur following trauma or after repeated use of heavy earrings.


Ear correction overview

Prominent Ear Correction




1-2 Hours


Day case /outpatient


Few days off work, 6 weeks before strenuous exercise

prominent ear correction edinburgh

What is pinnaplasty?

Pinnaplasty is the name given to the operation to correct prominent ears. The procedure is also known as otoplasty(oto = ear).

The operation involves shaping the skin and cartilage behind the ear so that it is pulled back to look less prominent. The procedure usually lasts between one and two hours. In adults, the procedure is generally carried out under local anaesthetic.

What to expect

Prominent ear correction

You should expect to see an immediate improvement in the shape and projection of your ears. There is usually little in the way of bruising if a suture technique has been used.

Split ear lobe repair

You will see an immediate correction of your split earlobe. Stitches are removed at around 7 days. Your scars may be red and lumpy for up to six months.

What to expect

What are the risks?

Prominent ear correction carries a high satisfaction rate.

The procedure has the following risks associated:


Uncommon with techniques that use stitches to remould the ear cartilage. If undetected can put pressure on the skin and cause delayed healing or loss of skin and subsequent ear deformity.


Relatively uncommon and may require treatment with antibiotics. Rarely, a severe infection can lead to pain and ear deformity.

Delayed wound healing

Again uncommon but can result in the wound opening up and not healing properly.


Usually settle very well and hidden behind the ear. Rarely can be thickened and itchy (Keloid scar) and occurs in patients predisposed to this kind of scarring.

Under correction

Not “pinning” the ear far back enough.


You should expect minor degrees of asymmetry – this is normal.


A degree of recurrence can occur if the stitches fail.

Suture extrusion

The internal stitches used to correct prominent ears are buried and not dissolvable. In a small number of patients, they may be able to feel the knot of the suture or the stitch can protrude through the skin. If this occurs after 6 months, the stitch can be safely removed with a simple 5-minute procedure under local anaesthetic.


A small number of patients (approx. 5-10%) may require further surgery to correct residual problems.

Ear correction aftercare

Explore ear correction aftercare
Ear correction aftercare

Body dysmorphia

Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a mental health condition in which someone can’t help thinking about one or more perceived issues or faults in their appearance. Other people may think that their concerns are minor or they may fail to see them at all.

People with BDD, continuously focus on their appearance and body image, repeatedly checking the mirror, grooming or seeking reassurance, sometimes for many hours each day. The perceived flaw likely causes significant distress and impacts on a person’s ability to function in their daily life.

People affected with BDD often seek out cosmetic procedures to try to “fix” their perceived flaw. Afterwards, they may feel temporary satisfaction or a reduction in their symptoms, but often the anxiety returns, or they may move on to focus on other perceived problems related to their appearance.

Some patients may have features of body dysmorphia. Such patients are not likely to be offered surgery.

If you are considering surgery, it is worth trying the self-assessment tool below known as the Cosmetic Procedure Screening Questionnaire (COPS).

The questionnaire was developed by David Veale, Nell Ellison, Tom Werner, Rupa Dodhia, Marc Serfaty and Alex Clarke (2012) Development of a cosmetic procedure screening questionnaire (COPS) for Body Dysmorphic Disorder. Journal of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, 65 (4), 530-532.