Meet Dr. Haruka Nakanishi

Curved and Narrow Ears…  Japanese surfers have the tendency to have narrow and curved ear canals, and it is a reason why surfer’s ear surgery is more difficult for Asian surfers. Dr. Haruka Nakanishi (pictured above with Mick Fanning) adopted the chisel technique from Dr. Hetzler about six years ago and since then he has totally changed the game when it comes to surfer’s ear surgery and helping those with smaller ears.

Do you have a routine before going into an operation?

Go surfing or skate the day before the operation.
In the operating room, I like slow Jazz or slow R&B in BGM. Haruka5

What is your biggest/weirdest fear? 

That some surfers are still operated with the classical procedure (behind ear incision, drilling technique).

 Is it possible for future generation surfers to build up a tolerance to bone growth if their parents are surfers with bone growth… a case of natural selection? 

It is a difficult question. No one knows the answer.

Can you tell us about your experience learning the chisel method? 

The chisel method is not easy to master even for an experienced ENT doctor who is familiar with ear surgery. Fortunately, I lived in Miyazaki, where one of the best surf area in Japan, and I belong to a surf community because I used to be a competitive surfer. A lot of surfers gathered Miyazaki for their ear surgery. I owe them. Surfers helped me establish the chisel technique that optimized for the Japanese ear (narrow and curved).


Before and after chisel operation. No skin defects. The tympanic membrane is intact.
What are your thoughts on Surfing being in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics?
I did free ear check up last year at ISA surfing event in Aichi, Japan.
I hope I can join in some way to spread awareness of surfer’s ear.
Hopefully, I can do the operation for the competitor after the Olympic games.
What is your go-to-ride? HD Sportster XL1200.