Elongated ear piercings, gauged ears, and torn earlobes are common complaints, and are treatable with an in-office procedure. Earlobe repair focuses on restoring a natural aesthetic contour of the ear. The margin of the earlobe provides one of the “frames” to your face, and an irregularity here can catch the light or shadow in a way that is noticed from a distance or in pictures. Optimal repair of the earlobe involves restoring this natural contour while keeping the scar in a natural crease of the ear so as to not distort or draw attention to an area that typically does not.
The best results from earlobe repair come from the anticipation of scarring. Every injury, whether surgical or traumatic, leaves a scar. Knowing that scars tend to contract over time helps perform a closure in a way that gives the best long term result, rather than something that looks good in the short term, but 2 years later has a contracted, or “forked” look.
Earlobe repair gets the best results when the ear is repaired before the earring has torn through the margin of the ear. This allows the preservation of the outer margin and contour of the ear. It can also get great results from a torn earlobe, though the surgery involves overcorrection so that the final result looks more natural. Every earlobe repair procedure involves making the earlobe smaller, so every precaution is made to minimize the change in the size of the ear.
Repair of gauged earlobes also gives great results after a single surgery. As the ear has been expanded, repair involves reduction and removal of the stretched tissue so that normal earlobe can be closed to the normal earlobe. When gauges are done, the ears often have an asymmetric appearance, as the dilation takes the path of least resistance, which may be different from one ear to the next. Care is taken to perform the surgery in a way that minimizes asymmetry and preserves the contour of the ear.
Can I Get My Ear Pierced After Earlobe Repair?
In most cases, after repair of an earlobe, the ear can be pierced again 6-8 weeks after the surgery, as long as the piercing is not in the scar line. In the case of gauged ears or a more extensive reconstructive procedure, this can be a longer period of time, up to 12 weeks, depending on the healing.
What is the Down Time After Earlobe Repair?
This procedure is done in the office using only numbing shots, or local anesthesia, and patients can typically return to work immediately afterward, though risks are minimized when patients take good care of their incisions, washing and dabbing them clean up to three times a day initially, and do not lift anything greater than 10 pounds for the first week after the procedure.
The stitches are typically left in place 5-7 days after the surgery, depending on the extent of surgery. Absorbable stitches can be used as well, though I prefer to use permanent stitches that need to be removed, as they produce less swelling and redness of the skin.
How Much Does Earlobe Repair Cost?
Earlobe Repair at Nuance Facial Plastics usually costs between $900 and $1500 per ear, depending on how extensive the surgery is. This is an all-inclusive cost that covers the cost of the surgery, facility, and follow-ups.