The setback otoplasty is the most common aesthetic ear reshaping surgery. Its popularity is not only because it is effective but also due to the procedure being scarless. The ear cartilage is more favorably shaped entirely from incisions behind the ear. Other ear reshaping surgeries do exist, albeit much less commonly performed, but require a more visible or external incisional approaches.
One such otoplasty procedure is the vertical ear reduction. Decreasing the height of the large ear (macrotia reduction) usually requires a dual approach. A superior scapula flap to reduce the upper third of the ear and an inferior earlobe reduction to reduce the bottom third of the ear. Both procedures require more visible incisions particularly the scaphal flap reduction.
Since such an aesthetic ear procedure produces visible scarring the pertinent question is how significant are the resultant scar lines. The following bilateral macrotia ear reduction patient represents a typical long term outcome in my experience.
As can be seen in this very typical outcome the scarring from ear reduction surgery is fairly minimal. The greatest scar location is where the scaphal flap incision crosses the mid-helical rim.
Dr. Barry Eppley
World-Renowned Plastic Surgeon