The skin at the earlobes is unique in the sense that a piercing can remain open for years. In fact, the skin in a piercing will remain open and even continue to stretch over time, especially with the consistent use of earrings, in particular heavy earrings. Additionally, ear gauges have been very popular in recent years and can cause ear lobes to stretch drastically and even tear, with these openings only getting worse as time goes by. However, there is a way to repair this damage through cosmetic surgery. Dr. Pollack offers a simple earlobe repair procedure that can be done quickly with minimal pain and a rapid recovery. Patients can walk out of the door and be wearing their favorite pair of earrings within a few months.
Am I a Candidate for Earlobe Repair?
People with stretched or torn earlobes from heavy jewelry, ear gauges, or an injury from torn-out earrings are ideal candidates for earlobe repair. Candidates should be in good general health. Although earlobe repair is relatively simple, patients should still be upfront about any medical conditions beforehand as with any other cosmetic or medical process.
How Is Earlobe Repair Performed?
Earlobe repairs are pretty simple. A small incision is made to create a new wound, and the skin is held and stitched together. Surgeons can use different incision techniques, such as in V, L, Z, or wedge shapes, to reach the desired results. Dr. Pollack creates a “mini-flap” using the L-shape pattern to stitch the earlobe together. This technique is thought to be the best to avoid “notching,” the term used for visibly uneven skin from the earlobe flaps stitched together. The whole repair process can take about fifteen to twenty minutes to complete, with Dr. Pollack using a small dose of local anesthesia to manage any pain and discomfort.
How Long Is My Earlobe Repair Recovery?
The earlobe area and stitches may be a little sore in the days right after the procedure, but for the most part, pain and discomfort from earlobe repair should be minimal. Patients will be advised to clean the repaired earlobe area with soap and water every day in the first week after the procedure is done. Patients may also use petroleum jelly to promote further healing and avoid any scarring. Stitches should be removed after the first week.
When Will I See My Earlobe Repair Results?
Earlobe repair can be used to fix tears and stretches both big and small, and the technique used by Dr. Pollack is a quick way that offers fast-healing results. By six weeks, the earlobes should be fully healed—and they may even be ready for a new piercing, but this will depend on the individual. Dr. Pollack is happy to re-pierce any patient who comes in with an earring after they have healed from an earlobe repair procedure. Earlobe repairs are a fast, simple fix to tears and stretches that should last a lifetime if the area is taken care of. Earrings can still be enjoyed, and injuries and tears can be repaired in a way that’s much more simple than what most people think.
Frequently Asked Questions About Earlobe Repair
Can I repair my earlobes if I’ve worn large ear gauges for years?
We see many patients who chose to get plugs (ear gauges) in their teens or 20s and now regret the decision. Whether they are interviewing for a new job or simply have different aesthetic ideals, earlobe repair can reverse ear gauges. Traditionally to perform this, a thin layer of skin will need to be removed around the edge of the gauge, and the area will be sutured together to restore a more normal-sized, closed earlobe.
Is earlobe repair the same as otoplasty?
No. While earlobe repair and otoplasty both deal with the ears, they are two very different procedures. Earlobe repair corrects tears, gauges, and other damage to the earlobes. Otoplasty (or ear pinning) is a surgical procedure that repositions protruding or oversized ears closer to the head.
Should I combine my earlobe repair with any other surgical procedure?
Earlobe repair is commonly performed as a standalone procedure for women and men looking to correct earlobe damage or reverse the effects of plugs and ear gauges. However, qualifying may choose to take this time to combine their earlobe repair with another anti-aging facial surgery, such as a facelift, brow lift (forehead lift), or blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery).
How much does earlobe repair cost?
The cost of your earlobe repair is dependent on many factors, including the extent of the treatment (one or both ears), surgeon fees, anesthesia fees, and facility fees. Your earlobe repair cost will also vary if it is being combined with another facial surgery.
How can I reduce earlobe scarring after earlobe repair?
Scarring is an unavoidable result after any surgery, including a reconstructive procedure like earlobe repair. Sadly, unlike many other surgeries, there is no way to “hide” earlobe incisions, as the earlobes are always visible. Fortunately, while there is no way to avoid them, you can help minimize the visibility of your scars by applying petroleum jelly or other scarring treatments (like silicone gel) and keeping the healing incisions out of the sun. All scarring fades with time.
How old do I have to be to undergo an earlobe repair?
We understand that accidents that damage the earlobes can occur at any time and any age. If you are healthy (with no medical conditions that could impair healing) and your ears are fully grown, there is no reason as to why you cannot benefit from earlobe repair.
What kind of anesthesia will be used during my earlobe repair?
Dr. Pollack will use local anesthesia to numb the area. With local anesthesia, you can expect to feel no discomfort during your surgery. This is a very simple procedure, and you can return home shortly after the treatment.
If you are choosing to combine your earlobe with another facial surgery, general anesthesia may be required.
Interested in Learning More?
How Can We Help?
"*" indicates required fields
Dr. Pollack is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and is dedicated to providing patients with safe and effective procedures. He has over 20 years of experience in the field of plastic surgery and looks forward to meeting you. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Pollack, please call our La Jolla practice at 858-450-9100 today.