Men and women accessorize their ears with jewelry as a form of fashion and self-expression. Ear piercings are very common and risks associated with this procedure are relatively low as long as the ear is cared for properly. However, complications can and do arise for some who have experienced changes to their ears, such as stretching or tearing, resulting in a less than desirable earlobe shape or appearance. Piercing the ears can lead to complications as well. Some of those complications include scarring around the piercing, stretching of the hole from heavy earrings or even a full split in the lobe.
Earlobe repair is a surgical procedure that reverses these complications and restores the natural appearance of the ear. Whether your earlobe has been damaged due to piercings, gauges or some sort of trauma or injury, our staff at Aesthetic Specialty Centre can repair damaged earlobes and restore your ears’ natural appearance. After your earlobe repair the ears can be re-pierced and wear jewelry can be worn again after the ears have fully healed in most cases.
Earlobe Repair Approaches
There are a number of reasons why surgical earlobe repair might be recommended:
Keloid Scars – Keloids are scars that form as a result of an injury as firm, raised lesions. They can be red, brown, or tan in color. They may form over the site of a piercing or be due to an injury to the ear. Keloid scars can be excised under local anesthesia. Recovery takes about one week, with little to no downtime. Any stitches will dissolve on their own, saving a trip back to the office for suture removal.
Stretched Hole Earlobe Repair – Heavy earrings that pull on the lobe can cause earlobes to develop a stretched hole. Treatment for stretched earlobes involves closing the hole completely, by removing the skin on the inside of the hole so tissue can reconnect and repair itself. This procedure typically takes less than 15 minutes per ear to complete and recovery takes approximately one week. Around that time the stitches will dissolve and patients have the option of re-piercing their ears.
Gauged Earlobe Repair – As a form of self-expression some individuals choose to “gauge” in their ears, a process in which over time round spacers are used to stretch the holes in their ears and elongate the earlobe. This process of stretching the lobe can cause damage as the tissue becomes thinner. Repair of the earlobe follows the same basic steps as repairing any other stretched or torn holes. Patients will need a few days of rest to recover from gauged earlobe repair and stitches will dissolve within approximately one week. After the lobes are completely healed most can be re-pierced.
Split Earlobe Repair – Heavy earrings or pulling can result in complete splits in the earlobe. This injury may also be repaired by removing skin on the inside of the tear and reattaching tissue for a rejuvenated appearance of the lobe. Like other procedures to repair the earlobe, this surgery usually requires a few days of recovery time. Once the stitches have dissolved and the ear is fully healed it can be re-pierced in most cases.
The Earlobe Repair Procedure
Earlobe repair surgery takes approximately one hour to complete and is performed under local anesthesia. During the procedure, healed skin on the inside of the ear is cut away and the area is closed. Sutures are used to close the incision. During the healing process the sutures dissolve on their own so there is no need for an additional office visit for suture removal. If the ear is re-pierced after the lobe heals completely, new piercings should be placed to the side or above the former location to avoid any scar tissue that might develop.
Earlobe Repair Recovery
Most earlobe repair procedures recovery takes about one week. Patients report having relatively minimal discomfort during that time and may choose to take oral pain medication during the first day or two to manage any post-operative pain that does develop. Talk to our staff about possible re-piercing after your surgery if you would like to be able to adorn your ears with jewelry once again. In most cases re-piercing is possible.
To learn more about earlobe repair, contact Aesthetic Specialty Centre Plastic Surgery & Dermatology today at (770) 393-9000 in Roswell or (706) 467-6500 in Greensboro. ASC-PSD is conveniently located near Atlanta, Georgia.