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Who Is a Candidate for Earlobe Repair?
You may be a candidate for earlobe repair if you are in good health and have one or more of the following aesthetic concerns:
- Elongated earlobes from years of wearing heavy earrings
- Stretched ear piercing holes that no longer fit properly around standard earring studs
- Abnormally long earlobes with large holes caused by the size and/or weight of gauges
- Torn or split earlobe due to injury
- Congenital irregularities, such as asymmetrical earlobes
When you meet with Dr. Sanan for your consultation, he will assess your earlobes and speak with you about your expectations for the procedure outcome. He can then determine if earlobe repair is the best treatment option for you.
If your cosmetic concerns with the ear go beyond a damaged earlobe, Dr. Sanan may recommend combining earlobe repair with otoplasty. Otoplasty, or cosmetic ear surgery, alters ear cartilage to change the size, shape, and/or projection of the ears.
There are some medical conditions that may affect candidacy for earlobe repair surgery. Be sure to inform Dr. Sanan if your body’s capacity to heal is compromised, you are taking prescription medications, and/or you are currently under the care of a physician for a diagnosed illness.
Patients who have a history of keloid scars should advise Dr. Sanan of this predisposition during the consultation, so he can tailor their surgery and aftercare instructions accordingly.
Torn Earlobe Repair
Earlobe tears and splits are relatively common. They can be caused by something as seemingly innocuous as catching an earring on your clothing. Dr. Sanan has treated patients whose earlobe tears resulted from a curious child tugging on the earring, incidental contact while playing sports, traumatic injury, and a number of other situations.
Earlobe tear repair is an outpatient procedure that Dr. Sanan performs in-office. Every earlobe injury is unique, which means every torn earlobe repair surgery is different. In general, the procedure can be completed within an hour with the use of local anesthesia.
Once the earlobe is numb, Dr. Sanan will remove the irregular edges of the tear. After he has excised the scar tissue, he will use sutures to close the tear and secure the new earlobe contours.
Ear Gauge Repair
Ear gauging involves intentionally expanding a piercing hole by inserting progressively bigger gauges, or plugs, over time. This process stretches the earlobe further and further to accommodate larger plugs until the patient has achieved his or her cosmetic goals.
In recent decades, ear gauging has become a more mainstream practice, with greater numbers of men and women incorporating ear plugs of substantial size into their personal style. However, as their lifestyles, careers, and/or aesthetic tastes evolve, many people find that gauged ears are no longer practical or appealing for them.
Will Gauged Ears Close Naturally?
When the skin of the earlobe is stretched beyond a certain point, it loses its elasticity. This means that when a patient chooses to stop wearing gauges, the holes may shrink slightly, but they will never close.
Since the skin cannot retract back into its previous shape, the earlobe tissue around the opening will hang loosely. The earlobe contours will remain abnormal unless they are surgically reshaped.
Gauged Earlobe Repair Procedure
Gauged earlobe repair is an outpatient treatment performed after the ear is numbed with local anesthesia. Repairing large earlobe gauges is more complex than other earlobe recontouring procedures. For this procedure, Dr. Sanan will remove the loop of skin that lines the inside of the hole. Some of the outer earlobe skin may also be excised.
Dr. Sanan then uses reconstructive surgical techniques to arrange the earlobe tissue into a normal shape. Small, fine sutures will be used to close the incisions.
Ear Piercing Closure
Whether you no longer want your ear piercings or you are unhappy with piercing holes that have stretched, Dr. Sanan can minimize the appearance of the piercing scar with a quick, minimal-downtime procedure. A local anesthetic will be used to keep you comfortable for this treatment.
This procedure typically requires excising a small amount of skin surrounding the piercing hole. Normal-sized ear piercings may only require a single suture on each side of the ear to close the hole and complete the procedure.
Earlobe Repair Results
Earlobe repair results will be apparent right away and will continue to improve as healing progresses. Patients who follow Dr. Sanan’s aftercare instructions typically find that their incision lines fade significantly in the months following the procedure.
If desired, repaired earlobes can be pierced after about two months, though they should not be pierced in the exact same spot as they were initially. Choosing small, lightweight earrings over bigger, heavy earrings can reduce the likelihood of another earlobe tear.
How Much Does Earlobe Repair Cost?
The complexity of your specific procedure will affect the price of earlobe repair. Dr. Sanan will design a treatment plan for your needs during your consultation. Cost details will be provided once he has determined the optimal treatment approach for you.