Historically, the earlobes have been adorned with precious gems and metals, often to signify the social status of a person. Today, earrings continue to be popular indications of personal style and social status. Some cultures also follow traditions of earlobe stretching which involves inserting plugs into holes in the ears. The plug size is increased slowly to eventually create a large hole in the earlobe.
This practice has grown in popularity in mainstream fashion. However, earrings and earlobe stretching can damage the earlobe to the point where cosmetic surgery is needed. Dr. Brian Maloney can repair any type of earlobe disfigurement as well as aesthetic alterations including earlobe size reduction.
About the Procedure
Earlobe Repair and Reduction procedures repair torn and overstretched earlobes, as well as reduce the natural size of the earlobe. Patients who have very thin earlobes and wear heavy earrings may find that their earlobes stretch over time. Patients with pierced ears are also at risk for having earrings ripped out of the ears causing the lobe to tear. While earlobe stretching is popular, some patients change their minds and want to reverse the effects.
Earlobe Repair and Reduction surgery is a relatively minor surgery that requires only local anesthesia. The procedure typically requires only about 20 minutes per ear. In most cases, tissue does not need to be removed, unless the skin has already begun to heal. The earlobe is sutured together, and healing typically takes only about one week.
Earlobes that are naturally elongated benefit from earlobe repair and reduction surgery. To perform this surgery, Dr. Maloney removes a triangular piece of tissue from the earlobe. The earlobe is then sutured, and healing takes about one week.
Candidates for Earlobe Repair & Reduction
Being a candidate for earlobe repair and/or reduction is based upon the individual patient’s needs and physical characteristics of the earlobes. The most common types of repair include:
- Earlobe Tear: Simple tears in the earlobe can result from wearing heavy earrings or earrings being pulled out. The injury results in earlobe clefting or a bifid earlobe. This type tear will not heal and close by itself. Surgical repair of the earlobe will be necessary to repair an earlobe tear.
- Earlobe Gauges: Earlobe gauges, or earlobe plugs, became a popular practice in recent years. As trends come and go, patients are likely to desire removal of the gauges. After the gauge is removed, the hole will shrink a little bit over several months; However, the earlobe will not completely revert to its pre-stretched state, and will be permanently deformed without repair. In some cases the earlobe deformity can be quite severe causing complex ear reconstruction surgery.
- Earlobe Deformity: Sometimes patients are born with deformed earlobes that do not conform to the shape of the face. Dr. Maloney can reshape and contour earlobes to have a softer appearance and more closely match a patient’s facial symmetry.
Benefits of Earlobe Repair & Reduction
Earlobe repair and reduction can correct tears that may lead to infection and improper healing. In most cases, patients who undergo earlobe repair are able to continue wearing pierced earrings after the earlobes heal.