in San Fransisco, CA
There are a number of reasons people seek earlobe repair:
Are you ready to stop wearing earlobe plugs?
If you no longer want to wear plugs in your earlobes or have large piercings that you want closed, you may be a candidate for earlobe repair.
Do you think your earlobes are too large?
As we age, our ears actually grow and elongate. Enlarged earlobes can be a telling sign of aging. This is different from someone that just has large ears their whole life. Elongating earlobes can become noticeable after age 50 and may continue to become more obvious over time. If this is something that bothers you, earlobe reduction is an option for you.
Am I a good candidate for earlobe repair?
Unlike ear pinning, which is a common procedure performed on children to correct protruding ears, Dr. Fisher performs earlobe repair to fix earlobes that have been torn by earrings or trauma, or have been stretched by the prolonged wearing of large gauges, circular plugs placed into the earlobe.
If you no longer want to wear your gauges, odds are when you remove them your earlobe is stretched and loose. This is because the skin has been stretched to a degree for a period of time that it cannot tighten back down to its former degree of tightness.
With a torn earlobe, either by having a large hoop earring catch on something or tearing the earlobe through some trauma, the skin will not heal back together in a cosmetically appealing way. Often it will not heal together on its own at all. It needs to be stitched back together and Dr. Fisher can do it so that the scar is very fine.
What concerns can earlobe repair fix?
Fashion trends come and go, but the skin of our earlobes isn’t necessarily on board. Dr. Fisher generally sees two causes behind the necessary earlobe repairs — stretching or trauma.
Trauma can happen by catching an earring on clothing, your brush, even on bushes when out walking. If you pick up a small child, he or she might grab that shiny earring right in front of their eyes. If the earring catches or is pulled, it can tear right through the bottom of the lobe.
Today’s earrings have also become heavier and wider. The weight can pull down and enlarge the original earring piercing to the degree it is visible to others. Earrings are also growing in diameter, the ultimate example being gauged. Gauges are discs placed in the earlobe. If left in place long enough, when these gauges have removed the hole they created cannot close up and will need surgery to do so.
What are the benefits of earlobe repair?
While the bones stop growing after puberty and muscle and fat cells stop dividing, our cartilage keeps on growing until the day we die. That’s why older people have bigger ears and noses. Plus, the earlobes have to deal with gravity pulling thinning skin downward.
For men, this may not be an issue they care to correct, but for women elongated earlobes are bothersome. Earlobe reduction with Dr. Fisher downsizes those earlobes back to the size of a person’s younger years. Elongated earlobes can be damaging to how a person sees him or herself, so downsizing can be a really positive procedure.
How is earlobe repair surgery performed?
These are outpatient procedures performed in our on-site surgical center with the patient under only local anesthesia. Reshaping or resizing your earlobes is called lobuloplasty, a type of otoplasty. Earlobe repair of a torn or stretched earlobe falls under otoplasty, not that the designations make a big difference.
Once the patient is locally anesthetized, Dr. Fisher works with the skin, removing excess skin in cases of sagging or stretching, or bringing ripped skin back together in a repair. A small amount of skin is removed to create a better incision to stitch back together and heal with a minimal scar. These are simple procedures that are very satisfying as Dr. Fisher’s surgical expertise enables her to make the incision scar very thin. This scar fades very quickly in the months after these procedures.
How long does an earlobe reduction surgery take?
These surgeries with Dr. Fisher take just 15-45 minutes. If she needs to manipulate the cartilage, the procedure may take a little longer, but usually not more than about one hour.
Is there anything I need to do to prepare for earlobe repair?
You’ll need to stop taking any anti-inflammatory medications, any blood thinners, and some supplements, as these can lead to excessive bleeding and subsequent bruising. Other than that there’s little necessary to prepare for this surgery.
How painful is my recovery after earlobe repair?
People often put off this surgery because they assume the earlobes are quite sensitive, so their recovery will be quite painful. Not so. The earlobe doesn’t actually have many nerves, so there is very little pain. As mentioned above, most of Dr. Fisher’s patients feel over-the-counter pain medication adequately handles the pain.
What results can I expect from earlobe repair surgery?
If you have a stretched or torn earlobe, it’s probably something you’re continually trying to hide behind hair, clothing, or a hat. Dr. Fisher can remove that need. This surgery is very effective at making your earlobe look as it did prior to the injury. There will likely be a faint vertical scar, but it becomes quite unnoticeable pretty quickly. If you’ve had Dr. Fisher downsize your earlobes, you’ll love their smaller size and scarring will be mostly invisible as the earlobes were decreased from the outer edges moving inward.
Earlobe Repair Before and After
What is the recovery time for earlobe repair or reduction surgery?
Dr. Fisher usually only has bandages on the lower ear after these procedures. Over-the-counter ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) is usually all that’s needed for discomfort, and it helps with swelling. Cold compresses are effective for helping to minimize swelling, as well. Apply the compress in a 30 on and 30 off rotation. This is only necessary for the first day after your surgery. After the bandage comes off, you’ll need to apply Polysporin/Bacitracin ointment to the incision. If your stitches are not dissolvable, they will be removed usually within one week. Your recovery is mostly complete by that time.
Can earrings be worn after I have earlobe repair surgery?
Once your healing is complete, which takes a few months, you can have your ear pierced again. The only thing you have to do is to be sure to not place the new piercing in the incision scar or just above the incision scar. The scar is weaker than the surrounding tissue so it will tear more easily. The new piercing must be placed on either side of the scar.
How long would I have to wait before I could have my ears pierced again after repair?
It will take about 10-12 weeks for your repaired earlobe to fully heal after this surgery with Dr. Fisher. At that point, the healed incision is strong, and the repaired scar will begin to lighten and become less and less noticeable.
What are the risks involved with earlobe surgery?
These are very low-risk procedures with Dr. Fisher. She performs them with only local anesthesia and reactions to lidocaine are quite rare. As mentioned above, the earlobe doesn’t have any nerves, so there isn’t any danger of loss of function or other damage. The main risk is an infection, but she will prescribe an antibiotic ointment for use during recovery. Diligent use of it mitigates that risk.