Se Habla Español


Serving Phoenix and surrounding AZ cities

Otoplasty, or ear shaping, is the surgical correction of ears that protrude more than normal, or that are very large compared to other facial features. Poorly shaped or unusually sized ears may attract unwanted attention, draw rude remarks, and lead to self-consciousness. Many people who have deformed ears are often embarrassed or humiliated, which impacts their sense of confidence and self-esteem. This problem is especially prevalent among children, teenagers, and young adults. In some cases, affected individuals may be subjected to unfair teasing, bullying, and can shy away from common activities, certain looks, and styles. The goal of otoplasty alters the shape and size of ears so that patients can achieve a more pleasing appearance. This is usually an outpatient procedure performed under local or general anesthesia. Most people choose to have ear shaping surgery and ear lobe repair solely for cosmetic purposes.

Phoenix earlobe repair and otoplasty surgeon – Dr. LaBarbera performs otoplasty to repair earlobes, correct stretched, creased, wrinkled or extra-large earlobes. In extreme cases where the entire earlobe is missing due to injury or congenital reasons, the surgeon can build new ears. Most of Dr. LaBarbera’s ear correction surgery patients are children above the age of 7 years and young adults.
Dr. LaBarbera works individually with each patient and formulates a proper treatment plan based on the issue at hand. He has helped countless children and adults in Phoenix, and surrounding Arizona areas regain their self-esteem and feel confident about their looks. Dr. LaBarbera employs advanced surgical techniques to safely give his patient’s ears a natural shape, while at the same time maintaining a proportionate balance between the ears and the face.


Otoplasty may also entail surgery to repair torn earlobes, usually as a result of trauma, or wearing heavy earrings. This procedure is usually straightforward. The surgeon will remove the skin cleft on the area of the tear, then use a skin graft, or donated cartilage to reconstruct the new lobe. After the surgery, sutures that are used to seal the incision stay in place for a couple of weeks. Depending, your surgeon may require a few post-operative visits to monitor the recovery process.


  • Ears reshaped to the desired cosmetic effect
  • Reduced size of excessively large ears
  • Achieve a more uniform and pleasing facial appearance
  • “pin” protruding ears closer to the head for an enhanced appearance


The first step is to visit Dr. LaBarbera at his Phoenix office. During this initial visit, the surgeon will examine your ears to establish whether you are an ideal candidate for otoplasty. The surgeon will seek to understand your goals and expectations and discuss the treatment options available. Dr. LaBarbera will also evaluate your overall health to ascertain whether you are in good shape to receive an otoplasty. Be prepared to discuss your comprehensive medical history, including medications you are taking, and previous treatments. This visit is also a good opportunity for you to ask the surgeon any questions you may have regarding the cost of the procedure, preparations, and the recovery process.


Where patients have an existing condition such as high blood pressure, it must be controlled before otoplasty can be performed. About two weeks before the surgery, you’ll be asked to stop taking herbal supplements, and any blood-thinning medication. Before the scheduled surgery date, the surgeon will conduct a physical exam and pre-admit you for testing.

Typically, ear shaping surgery is performed within 2 weeks after the results of these tests have been examined. The surgeon will provide further guidelines with regards to eating, drinking, smoking, taking vitamin supplements and medication. It’s also important to make arrangements for someone to drive you home after the surgery and help out for a couple of days.


The surgical technique for otoplasty varies depending on the condition of the patient’s ears. In cases where the patient has protruding ears, cartilages will be reformed and splints may be used to provide support. Depending on the extent of the protrusion, the surgeon may also trim away excess tissue. The cartilages are reshaped and tissue grafting may be used to render volume. Dr. Jude LaBarbera will perform ear pinning and ear reduction surgery in varying forms.

Ear pinning – many small children have very soft cartilage that can be molded and contoured using splints. In adults, the fully developed cartilage will need to be removed or repositioned so as to pin the ear back. This is usually performed via a small incision made along the edge on the back of the ear. After displacing the cartilage, sutures will be used to hold the ear in place closer to the head.

Size reduction – this entails reducing the size of the ear. An incision will be made below the edge at the back of the ear. The surgeon will remove excess cartilage, and suture the skin together. This effectively reduces the surface area of the cartilage and makes the ear smaller.



Ear correction surgery takes about 1-2 hours to complete. This is an outpatient procedure and patients are sent home the same day for recovery. If an incision is made, then the areas will be sutured and bandaged. Many patients experience soreness and swelling but this goes away after a while. The bandaging is important to allow uninterrupted recovery. In the same of children, it also prevents them from touching the area. Otoplasty patients are advised against driving because the bandaging muffles hearing. Most skilled surgeons hide scars within the creases of the ear, and most patients are able to resume routine activities within a 6-week duration.


Ear surgery costs varies depending on the extent of the procedure. These costs may significantly go up in extreme cases. Generally, health insurance does not pay for otoplasty. In some situations (such as when the surgery is needed due to trauma or a birth defect), health insurance can pay up.

Dr. Jude LaBarbera performs ear correction surgery at his ultra-modern in-office operating room in Phoenix Arizona. He is supported by a team of highly skilled and licensed staff.




1 – 2 Hours


6 Weeks


Some Situations



The ears are one of the fastest maturing part of the human body. If the surgery is performed at an appropriate age, the results of ear surgery are long-lasting. Although gravity and aging can affect all areas of the body, any changes to the ear are minimal and secondary otoplasty is typically not needed.

Many otoplasty patients are children and young adults. For children, the ears are fully developed by the age of 5-6 years. This is usually the best time to have this procedure because the cartilage is still soft and thus easy to reshape/reposition. Children who receive otoplasty also tend to recovery very faster and can resort to a normal, happy life.
For most patients, both ears are affected by the same problem. Thus, otoplasty is performed on both earlobes to ensure a symmetrical appearance. In some cases, surgery will be performed on one ear so that it can resemble the other.

Jude LaBarbera MD Plastic Surgery of Phoenix has provided this website for informational purposes only. This website does not constitute formal medical advice. Please contact our office to schedule your plastic surgery consultation to further discuss your medical needs. Serving Phoenix and other surrounding cities in Arizona.