Can my Earlobe be repaired?
The answer is almost definitely yes.
We’re going to go into a little bit more detail than that and discuss exactly what earlobe repair is, how it works for different kinds of problems, what the recovery from earlobe repair is like, and how much you can expect to spend on earlobe repair.
What is the earlobe repair?
In its most basic form, earlobe repair is any procedure that is designed to restore your ear lobe to its original aesthetic appearance. It follows from this definition that the nature of the procedure for any given person’s earlobe repair will depend on the specific problem that a person is having with their earlobes.
There are several common scenarios when people ask about earlobe repair.
Probably the most common thing we see is stretched earlobes. Earlobes can stretch over time either from wearing heavy earrings or just from the process of aging alone because over time our skin loses elasticity, it contracts less effectively, and just like almost any other body part, the earlobes respond to gravity and can hang more and become elongated over time.
In a more severe version of this issue, heavy earrings and heavy ear piercings can stretch your lobes so much that they rip at the bottom and we can end up with what’s called a cleft earlobe.
Sometimes people that get gauges in their ear lobes. Gauges are essentially circular piercings that are replaced over time with larger and larger circles to increasingly stretch the earlobe overtime. Sometimes folks with earlobe gauges decide they don’t want them anymore and those gauges can significantly stretch out the ear lobe and leave very large holes in the ear.
The exact kind of repair procedures if necessary will depend on the problem that the individual is having with their earlobe.
There are certain things that most of these procedures have in common.
First, they can almost always be done under just some local anesthesia, which means surgeons give you some numbing medicine to make sure you can’t feel any discomfort from your repair, but you are awake and breathing on your own.
These are the kinds of procedures that you can walk into the office, have done over your lunch break in 30 minutes to an hour in most cases, depending on the severity of the issue, and if it’s either one or both ear lobes and then you can get back to work because you’ll be awake and in good shape, right after the procedure because all they’ve done is make that area and with some numbing medicine just like at the dentist’s office.
What is recovery like from an earlobe repair procedure?
This is something else that most of these procedures have in common, which is that you’ll be a little sore as the numbing medication wears off, and in some cases for the more complex repairs will end up prescribing pain medication but this usually isn’t any kind of severe pain, it’s more just some soreness or discomfort that will go away after just a couple days but it’s rarely the kind of discomfort that will keep you from getting back to your daily life and certainly will prevent you from going to work or school.
After almost all of these procedures, you also have some stitches put in to close the repair. In most cases, doctors use stages that do not dissolve on their own sometimes called permanent stitches and they then take these out in 7 to 10 days after the procedure and once your stitches are out you can go back to taking a bath or swimming normally.
In most cases, patients shower again and get their earlobes wet just 48 hours after the repair, even while they have stitches in, but it is unadvisable for people to submerge their earlobe repairs underwater like in the bathroom the pool until they’re completely healed after their stitches are out.
In the case of an earlobe that is stretched from a heavy piercing, what specialists will usually end up doing is removing the tissue that creates the border around the piercing.
If you can almost imagine the piercing as the whole of a donut, surgeons will essentially shave off the part of the donut around the hole to leave a raw surface area that can then be sutured to itself and this will heal very nicely.
In more severe cases of elongated earlobes, surgeons may end up removing a wedge of the ear lobe so that they can shorten the length of the earlobes so it no longer appears elongated. This is also what they do in the case of earlobes that elongate from aging, and doctors often combine this procedure with a facelift. What they’ll do here is they’ll actually excise a wage of the ear lobe and put it back together in such a way as to hide the scar so that the length of the ear lobe is reduced because a long earlobe can be a subtle sign of facial aging.
Earlobe shortening procedure is a nice subtle way to enhance the result of a facelift or also to give a nice anti-aging or rejuvenating effect even as a standalone procedure for folks that have an elongated or stretched ear lobe.
In the case of a torn earlobe where a piercing has been worn for so long or it was so heavy that tore through the bottom of the earlobe, in this case, what surgeons end up doing is designing a wedge to excise the piercing hole itself as well as the borders of the portion of the earlobe that the earring tore through, to be sutured to itself so to reconstruct the border of the earlobe in and naturally rounded shape.
In cases involving earlobe repair after gauge wearing, these are more complex cases because they can lead to severe earlobe stretching, and very large holes in the ear lobes of these can require some complex soft tissue rearrangement procedures which are a lot like jigsaw puzzles and surgeons look to see where they can create incisions and well-hidden scars to realign the pieces of the earlobe to put things back together in an aesthetically pleasing way.
How much does earlobe repair cost?
This is going to vary significantly by geography and by provider experience as well as by the complexity of the case. It’s reasonable to expect to pay anywhere from 750 to $1000 for a single earlobe repair, and anywhere from 1500 to $2000 for a bilateral earlobe repair or repairing both ear lobes.
When we’re talking about how much gauge repair procedures cost this can get a bit more pricey because these are a lot more time-consuming and complex in terms of procedure design. The good news here is that in the vast majority of cases earlobes can be very effectively repaired and restored to their baseline aesthetic state.