Earlobes can be stretched or elongated from the use of heavy earrings, or situations of stretching of earlobe piercing. It’s fairly common for the piercing to be torn through, leaving the earlobe split. Many people come in concerned about the appearance of their earlobes, particularly because of the limitations associated with wearing earrings
I often perform ear cosmetic surgeries for issues like bringing prominent ears closer to head, correcting pixie ear deformities from facelift surgery, and reconstructive ear surgeries such as repairing elongated and torn earlobes.
As with all cosmetic procedures, artistry is important. I assess the amount of tissue present, and determine the optimal way to restore the appearance of a natural earlobe. This means that there are times when there is so much stretching from age and the weight of jewelry that an earlobe reduction may be necessary.
Some situations are more straightforward such as an elongated earlobe. In this case, the skin is removed like removing the hole in a donut, then the skin is repaired. After a few weeks of healing, the earlobe can be re-pierced. My assistants and I will look with the patient for the ideal location of a piercing. We place small gold stud earrings to allow the new hole to form, then once fully healed the patient can put earrings of their choosing, but of course I recommend that the jewelry not be too heavy.
Often, the skin of the earlobe can be thinned from volume loss due to aging, causing them to be floppy and stretched. In such cases, the addition of using a cosmetic filler such as from the hyaluronic acid family can augment the lost volume. Cosmetic filler alone can be used if the ear was not significantly elongated. In cases of elongation, then surgical earlobe reduction is needed.
Earlobe reduction is achieved by excising part of the stretched and elongated earlobe, then surgically closing it with sutures to restore a more natural and attractive appearance. After healing, cosmetic filler can also be injected into the earlobe to add volume for fullness and firmness.
The principles of earlobe reduction can also be applied to cases where the earlobe was accidentally torn through, or prolonged use of heavier jewelry caused the earlobe to tear through. The skin from the edges of the tear are excised, then the two sides of the earlobe sutured together.
Sutures from earlobe repair or reduction are removed after one week. Patients can normally return to work the day of or the day after the procedure, which is typically performed with local anesthesia.
Earlobe Repair New York City and Long Island, NY
Earlobe aesthetics are very important to many patients who I see in my practice. Problems ranging from elongated piercings, to stretched and split earlobes can be addressed effectively with artistically performed procedures, which are routinely performed under local anesthesia.