earlobe repair

Earlobe repair is a common type of ear surgery with a high patient satisfaction rate.

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What is an Earlobe Repair?

Earlobe repair is a common type of ear surgery with a high patient satisfaction rate. It’s typically performed to correct damage caused by injury or torn-out earrings. It can also restore the normal contour of gauged earlobes.

Fortunately, earlobe repair is a simple cosmetic procedure. It’s usually over in less than an hour and requires no downtime.

Who Is A Good Candidate for Earlobe Surgery?

Ideal candidates for earlobe surgery have:

  • Slightly enlarged piercings that are too big to hold a standard stud
  • Stretched earlobes from large gauge plug and tunnel jewelry
  • Stretched earlobes from age or wearing heavy earrings
  • A torn or split earlobe, commonly caused by ripped-out earrings

Even small earlobe imperfections can feel like a big problem. That’s why patients often report improved self-image after surgery. Some gain the confidence to wear pulled-back hairstyles for the first time in years.

How Does The Earlobe Repair Procedure Work?

Earlobe repair is a relatively simple and quick procedure. In nearly all cases, our surgeons perform it using local anesthesia.

Local anesthesia is beneficial for several reasons. It allows patients to see their results and provide feedback before the surgery is over. And unlike patients who receive general anesthesia, patients who receive local anesthesia can drive themselves home.

The exact steps needed to close the stretch or tear can vary. Our surgeons typically create a small notch in the affected earlobe, removing excess tissue if necessary. Then, they meticulously suture the earlobe back together to restore an optimal appearance.

The procedure typically lasts between 45 minutes and 1 hour. Your surgical timing will depend on if you are having one or both ears done, and the extent of your concern.

What Is Recovery Like After Earlobe Surgery?

Earlobe surgery requires minimal recovery. It’s normal to feel a mild throbbing sensation after the anesthesia wears off. This sensation can easily be controlled with over the counter pain medicine. Some patients may require a light narcotic for the day, though this is uncommon.

You won’t need to wear any special dressings after your procedure. However, our surgeons choose not to use absorbable sutures for earlobe repair. Non-absorbable sutures help minimize scarring. They also allow our surgeons to check your progress when you return to have them removed.

What Are the Benefits of Earlobe Repair?

Earlobe surgery offers a variety of benefits that could make it a great fit for you. If your jewelry options are limited because of an enlarged piercing or tear, earlobe surgery is the first step towards wearing your favorite earrings again. It can also give you the confidence to pull your hair back or go for a shorter cut if you feel self-conscious about the way your ears look.

Earlobe surgery provides immediate results that improve as the area heals. There may be some scarring, but in most cases it’s faint and nearly undetectable. The results of earlobe repair are permanent, though the procedure does not stop age-related aesthetic changes. You can prevent future tears by choosing to wear lightweight studs over heavy dangle earrings.  If you do wear large earrings, be sure to remove them in situations where they are likely to catch on something. Also, remove large earrings around children who may be tempted to pull on them.

When Can I Return To Normal Activity After Earlobe Repair Surgery?

You should be able to return to work or school immediately after earlobe repair surgery. There is little to no downtime involved with this procedure. However, you might experience some temporary tenderness, redness, and bruising.

Earlobe surgery comes with some activity restrictions to support proper healing and good cosmetic results. For example, you will need to avoid strenuous exercise and heavy lifting for four weeks. You will not be able to submerge your ear in a bathtub, pool, or hot tub for four to six weeks. Contact our surgeons if you have any questions about recovering from earlobe surgery.

Will I Have Scarring After Earlobe Surgery?

Earlobe surgery does leave a small scar. If your earlobe was severely damaged or you are getting surgery to correct multiple torn piercings, then you may have more than one scar.

Fortunately, it is difficult to detect most earlobe surgery scars after they have healed. Our surgeons use non-absorbable sutures to further minimize scarring. You can help the incision lines fade even more by avoiding unprotected sun exposure for six months after surgery.

Most patients agree that tightening and repairing their earlobes is worth the tradeoff of having a scar. Talk to our surgeons about the results that you may be able to expect.

Can I get my ear pierced again after earlobe repair?

You can get a stretched or torn earlobe re-pierced after earlobe repair surgery with a few limitations. You will need to wait six to eight weeks after your procedure to ensure proper healing. Additionally, our surgeons strongly advise you not to get your ear pierced in the same spot as before.

The scar tissue at the surgical site is not as strong as normal skin. It’s in your best interest to have your ear re-pierced slightly outside of that area.