Earlobe Repair Surgery
Need to Repair Your Ear?
Earlobe repair will close elongated earring holes, gauge openings, or torn earlobes. After years of wearing heavy earrings, the holes can stretch and look deformed. Sometimes babies who are fascinated by dangling earrings latch onto them and rip them from the earlobe, leaving the wearer with a jagged tear. Then there are those who started gauging their ears and now need their ears to look normal.
Am I a good candidate?
A good earlobe repair candidate, like any good candidate for any plastic surgery, must be in good health, have no active diseases or serious pre-existing medical conditions and must have realistic expectations of the outcome of the surgery. Again, as with any plastic surgery, a good candidate for earlobe repair is preferably a non-smoker.
Earlobe repair ranges from simply stitching an elongated earring hole or a torn earlobe to total earlobe reconstruction as in the case of large gauge closure. For simple repairs of stretched earring holes or tears from earrings, it is a short procedure that takes 30 minutes per side. After numbing the area, the plastic surgeon will make careful, small incisions, creating a clean edge. These edges will then be sutured together. Typically, eight weeks after the procedure, the ear may be pierced again.
Gauge repair, depending on the size of the gauge used to stretch the earlobe, can be more involved. The word coloboma means an absence or defect of tissue; ergo the plastic surgeon must use his skill to compensate for the missing tissue. Gauge repair is approached with different techniques. Essentially, the plastic surgeon must reconstruct the entire earlobe. The cases are more complex when patients have only one earlobe gauge or wear two different sized gauges. The goal is to restore the earlobes to a more natural symmetry.
Torn Earlobe Repair
A torn earlobe is the single most common injury to occur on or around the ear. Such an injury generally comes from heavy earrings causing distress on the earlobe, an improperly positioned earring or significant trauma to the area, such as an earring getting snagged and pulled from the lobe. Regardless of how the injury happened, it is entirely possible to fix the earlobe with an easily tolerated in-office procedure under local anesthetic. Within eight to twelve weeks after completing the earlobe repair, most patients will be fully healed.
Dr. Schlechter performs a high volume of earlobe repairs and both our timeframes and his technique are streamlined. In order to get you in in a timely fashion, it is recommended that you send clear photos of the damaged areas (if both ears, send pictures of each ear) and we will respond with price quotes and then move on to scheduling your treatment. Once you have decided to move forward with the surgery, we ask for a deposit of 50% of the total amount that was agreed upon. The balance is due on the day of the procedure.
The cost of earlobe repair varies with tears and gauges; both are priced per side with tears starting at $500, gauges starting at $750. Prices will fluctuate based on the complexity of the repair.
Recovery is quite simple for earlobe repair; patients will have sutures, which, in almost all cases, are dissolvable. Tylenol can be taken to alleviate any discomfort following the procedure.
Terms to Know
Coloboma – an absence or defect of tissue
Bilateral – pertaining to, involving, or affecting two or both sides
Earlobe Repair Surgery
Frequently Asked Questions
What type of anesthesia is used for earlobe surgery?
Earlobe repair is generally a minor procedure that can be performed with a local anesthetic. Upon injecting the anesthetic into the patient’s earlobe with a fine gauge needle (this will sting slightly when it is first administered,) the earlobe will become numb, allowing the doctor to work effectively. Of course, being an in-office procedure, you will remain awake for the entire process and can even drive right after. The freezing in your earlobe will wear off after a few hours and you will feel a slight discomfort in the immediate area for a short time. Thankfully, this discomfort is easily managed with over-the-counter pain medication.
Is it true that before gauge repair that people have to leave their gauges out 12 weeks first?
Sometimes a waiting period is recommended so that the hole left behind by the gauge can shrink on its own before being surgically repaired. By doing so, the proposed surgery may be somewhat less involved. The typical waiting time is 2 weeks.
Why is it preferable that plastic surgery patients are non-smokers?
Smokers have impaired capacity for wound repair and propensity for skin necrosis because oxygen is the basis for wound healing and it all begins at the cellular level; smoking deprives the body of the much-needed oxygen required to repair and build cells. Oxygen also kicks off energy production and to put it simply, helps to prevent infection in open wounds and is the foundation for the rebuilding of the skin tissues.
How soon after earlobe repair can I have my ears pierced again?
Optimally, patients should wait eight weeks or longer before having their ears re-pierced.