Earlobe repair surgery is used to address torn or stretched earlobes–injuries that are often caused by the use of heavy, dangling earrings. Earlobe repair is described as one of the simpler procedures in plastic surgery. A torn earlobe not only hurts, but it can be unpleasant to look at and, as a result, also causes embarrassment.
Our earlobes are made of soft tissue – mainly skin and fat. Because they are soft and pliable, it is common for earlobes to stretch a good deal if you consistently wear heavy earrings. Though we often think our bodies are indestructible, it becomes clear that this is not the case when a sagging earlobe tears, making it impossible to wear earrings.
You may be a candidate for earlobe repair if you have lacerated an earlobe by wearing earrings or plugs that are used to stretch the earlobes. Set up a consultation with a UNC plastic surgeon to discuss how your lacerated earlobe can be corrected.
Earlobe repair surgery is performed in an office setting using local anesthesia. Prior to surgery, you and your surgeon can discuss the options for repairing your earlobe. Techniques differ according to your anatomy, the shape of the laceration, and the available skin for repair.
In most cases, your surgeon marks the incision sites in order to make the surgery itself easier and most effective. Lidocaine, or another numbing solution, is used to ensure a nearly pain-free procedure. First, the uneven skin from the laceration is removed, and the repair is performed on the clean edges. Sutures are then placed to close the split and to fortify the union of the edges.
You should expect some minor swelling and discomfort in the first days following earlobe repair. For aftercare, you should keep the dressing on your ear for several days to prevent infection and to maintain the new shape. Stitches are removed within two weeks.
Your earlobes will need to be re-pierced before you can wear earrings again. It is often recommended that patients wait about three months before re-piercing their ears. Please check with your surgeon for an individual recommendation, as well as preventative measures to take to avoid future laceration.
If you have experienced an earlobe laceration, please contact us at the UNC Aesthetic, Laser & Burn Center in the Plastic Surgery Division. We offer only state-of-the-art facilities and the best surgeons. Our office is conveniently located on the UNC campus in Chapel Hill.