What is earlobe repair?
Earlobe repair is quickly becoming one of the most requested procedures in the United States. More and more people are coming in to get their earlobes repaired. In some cases, folks have waited years before seeking earlobe repair. Some have removed their gauges or heavy earrings, the soft tissue has shrunken a bit, but there is still a significant hole.
Elongated earlobe holes, or a split earlobe, can be caused by many things:
The plastic surgeon will typically take a medical history and do a physical exam. Health issues that can affect wound healing (diabetes, smoking, etc.) or bleeding (medicines, herbal preparations, etc.) may be discussed.
Like any other procedure, they will be asking about the patient's goal, and then looking at the hole to determine the size and condition of the hole, along with the anatomy of the surrounding tissue. Some earlobes just need closure. Some need a more complex rotation of tissue. Usually, both earlobes can be done at the same visit.
Typically, earlobe repairs are done as an outpatient, under local anesthesia, in the office. Most patients can drive themselves home. The earlobe is cleaned and anesthetized. The excess skin is removed. Tissue may be rotated depending on the individual issue. The wound is then closed in layers, to take tension off the outer part of the incision. There is usually a fine scar when all healed.
Most patients return to work the next day, often the same day. Permanent sutures or absorbable sutures may be used for skin closure, depending on the individual case.
Typically, we ask our patients to wait at least three months before re-piercing their ear. We also ask that the new piercing be at least 3mm from the old piercing site.