Protruding or uneven ears? Ear surgery can change the angle and shape of ears, setting them back closer to the head or correcting ears of different sizes.


Ear surgery, also known as otoplasty, is a procedure that changes the angle and shape of protruding or uneven ears in children and adults. It involves incisions behind the ear to reshape the cartilage in the ears, allowing them to lie closer to the side of the head.

For the most part, the operation is done on children between the ages of four and fourteen. This is because a child’s ear cartilage is soft and easy to mould. In teenagers and adults, the firmer cartilage of fully formed ears does not allow the same degree of moulding. However, ear surgery can still be effective in teenagers and adults.

Ear surgery is a highly individualised procedure and may not be suitable for everyone.

Some children and adults are unhappy with the shape of their ears because they are too big, stick out too much or are uneven in shape. Some may have experienced teasing and taunting as a result of their appearance and Ear surgery may assist in making the ear appear more normal and restore self-confidence.

Before you decide on ear surgery, there are some important issues to keep in mind:

  • Even when only one ear appears to protrude, surgery is usually performed on both ears for a better balance
  • Exact evenness (symmetry) isn’t likely. Similar to natural ears, the position of the ears after otoplasty will not match perfectly.

Ear surgery may be a good option for you if:

  • You are physically healthy and you do not have medical conditions that can impair healing or increase risk of surgery
  • You have realistic expectations of what ear surgery can accomplish.

Ear surgery offers a permanent result for protruding or uneven ears, although occasionally revisional surgery may be required for optimal results.

What are some of the risks involved?

Modern surgery is generally considered safe, however there some risks and complications associated with all surgeries. You can find more information on general risks and complications of surgery here.

Specific risks and complications associated with ear surgery include:

  • Asymmetrical ears, further surgery may be necessary to correct symmetry problems or irregularities in the cartilage
  • Re-protrusion of one or both ears may occur and require further surgery
  • Nausea and loss of balance related to fluid accumulation within the inner ear
  • Temporary or permanent loss of sensation in the skin around the surgical site and the surface of the ear
  • Small areas of skin overlying the cartilage of the ear my die, resulting in the formation of an ulcer that may take several weeks to heal.

Ear surgery is generally performed in an accredited private hospital as a day procedure. Dr Tonks and Dr Rome may also offer adults the option of having their procedure performed under local anaesthetic in our on site procedure room. 

Scars are inevitable with all invasive surgeries. However, the scars for ear surgery are discreetly located behind the ear. Our team of specialist nurses will advise you on how to care for your wounds for optimal wound healing and scar management.

Dr Tonks and Dr Rome’s surgical fees start from $5000 for both ears, which includes your initial post operative appointments and Healite treatments. Please note that this does not include the hospital or anaesthetist fees.

There are Medicare item numbers associated with this procedure and Dr Tonks and Dr Rome will discuss your eligibility during your consultation.

Recovery takes around 3-6 weeks. You will have a bandage around your head for 1 week following your surgery. Our Nurses will remove all bandages and dressings at you first post operative appointment approximately 7 days after. From then, you will be required to wear a soft fabric headband at night and when exercising for 3 weeks. It takes around 6 months for your final surgical result at which point we will book your post operative photos.