A surprising number of patients contact our office regarding ear lobe repair. Most commonly, they are concerned about the elongation or perhaps complete pulling through of the pierced earing holes on their lobes. In addition, we have also be asked to repair lobes which have been “gauged” for cosmetic reasons but the patient now wants to return the earlobe to its original form. Finally, we have reduced overly large earlobes that are the consequence of aging.
Elongated or torn ear lobe piercings
This is a fairly common problem that is easily repaired under local anesthesia in our office. After injecting a local anesthetic, the pierce site is excised and the defect closed with stiches that remain in place for about a week. Pain after the procedure is minimal, and you can resume normal activities right away. Your original pierce hole will be gone, but this can be repierced in 5-6 weeks.
Repair of gauged earlobes
This is typically a more extensive procedure than repairing a simple piercing. Although the earlobe gauge will stretch and distort the lobe, but typically no tissue is lost, enabling us to rearrange and shape the tissues back into a normal appearing lobe. These cases can be fairly simple or complex, depending on the tissues available for repair. As with piercing repairs, these can be performed in our office under local anesthesia, and we will need to place stitches that will remain in place for about 7-10 days.
Reducing the size of overly large earlobes can be done in our office under local anesthesia as an isolated procedure, but is often done in the operating room as part of more extensive procedures (facelift, necklift, etc.). As with other types of earlobe repair, the pain following the procedure is fairly minimal and sutures are removed in 7-10 days. Scars are placed to minimize visibility.
Why we like this procedure
Earlobe repair is typically a fairly quick and straightforward procedure with minimal pain and virtually no downtime. Problems such as abnormal scarring, infection, or healing problems are very rare, and patients are consistently very pleased with the results.