The earlobes can become damaged due to repetitive stretching or an accident. The most common cause of earlobe damage is long-term wearing of heavy earrings that gradually sink deeper into the lobe. People who may have chosen to stretch their earlobes in the past with “gauging” may now want to correct those effects. Drooping, torn or gauged earlobes can be repaired with earlobe surgery to restore a natural appearance.
Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Jennifer Harrington has extensive experience in reconstructive surgery, including earlobe repair. She’ll talk with you about your hopes for earlobe reconstruction and explain the details of the procedure during your initial consultation.
Harrington + Associates Plastic Surgery has helped men and women from the Twin Cities and throughout Minnesota heal after earlobe damage. Contact us online or call our Plymouth office today at 651-290-7600 for more information about earlobe repair, including pricing.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Earlobe Surgery?
Almost anyone with a torn, stretched, gauged or damaged earlobe can benefit from reconstruction of the lobe. The most common reasons to consider earlobe repair include:
- Repetitive earring use has caused the earlobes to stretch or tear
- An earring was ripped out of the ear through the lobe
- Gauges have expanded the size of the earlobe and you wish to return to a natural look
Earlobe Repair Incisions
In order to create the best results, Dr. Harrington will determine the best incision type for your needs. In some cases, she will join two sides of a torn earlobe together by carefully removing the skin on either end of the tear to create a raw edge that can be sutured together. She will then fasten the sides of the earlobe together for a natural-looking result.
In other cases, she may use a flap technique, using one or more flaps of skin and tissue from another area to rebuild the earlobe. Dr. Harrington will help you understand the appropriate uses of the different techniques and explain the best approach for your needs.
Your Earlobe Reconstruction
Earlobe repair is a simple procedure that is usually performed using a local anesthetic. Your procedure will be performed at an accredited surgical facility. The entire procedure usually takes less than 1 hour per ear.
Although most patients are not placed under general anesthesia for earlobe reconstruction, it’s still a good idea to have a friend or family member stay with you for at least 24 hours following your procedure. However, you may drive yourself home if you are comfortable doing so.
Dr. Harrington may suggest additional treatments to achieve your ideal results. People interested in reshaping or repositioning the ears may choose to have otoplasty in place of or in combination with earlobe repair.
Earlobe Repair Recovery
Earlobe surgery usually does not require the patient to take time away from work and other normal activities. Dr. Harrington will provide you with detailed post-operative instructions to achieve the best results. You will need to carefully clean the earlobe 3 times a day and use a special antibiotic ointment. You should be careful to not disturb the earlobes with hats, jewelry or in sports or activities while they heal.
While you should notice a difference in your earlobe immediately after surgery, your results will initially be obscured by some degree of bruising and swelling. Most patients can see their final results about 2 months after getting earlobe repair. Dr. Harrington will advise you on when you may begin to wear earrings again should you choose to do so.
Although complications associated with earlobe repair are very few, it’s still important to be aware of any potential risks. If you notice any sudden swelling accompanied by sharp pain, notify our office immediately.
Earlobe reconstruction can create whole, natural-looking earlobes after an accident or if repeated earring use has stretched or torn the ears, and can restore the look of gauged earlobes. If you have questions or would like more information, contact us online or call our Plymouth office at 651-290-7600 to schedule your earlobe repair consultation.