Earlobe Repair and Reduction: Everything You Always Wanted to Know
Repair of torn earlobes
Dangling or heavy earrings, babies and toddlers pulling on earrings, piercing that are too low; these are among the many causes of torn earlobes. Sometimes the earring just droops in a stretched-out piercing site (incomplete earlobe tear). Sometimes after years of stretching, the earlobe just splits in half (complete earlobe tear).
Regardless of the cause and severity of the tear, torn earlobes can be repaired under local anesthesia in the West Plano Plastic Surgery Center. The cost is quite reasonable at $425 for one ear or $725 for both (assuming single, uncomplicated tears in each ear). We have laughing gas available at no additional charge.
The skin lining of the tear is removed, and the earlobe is repaired with two to three layers of stitches (inner ear skin, outer ear skin, and soft tissue between the skin each receive a layer of stitches). The earlobes may be re-pierced at the same time (no additional charge). You may bring small studs with you or pick them up at the Presbyterian Hospital of Plano gift shop one floor below our office.
Beautiful earrings look much better in beautiful ears.
Earlobe reduction for large earlobes
Some people have large earlobes. They may have simply developed that way, or they may have stretched due to heavy earrings or aging. Regardless of the cause, the result is a dangling, distractingly large earlobe.
Earlobe reduction may be performed under local anesthesia (with laughing gas, if desired, at no additional charge). If the earlobe also happens to be torn, this can be repaired at the same time (also at no additional charge). In fact, sometimes the torn part of the earlobe can be removed as part of the earlobe reduction.
Most commonly I perform removal of redundant earlobe tissue through an incision along the edge of the earlobe (Patient 2, above). Essentially, you and I agree upon the new size and curvature of the earlobe, and this is drawn onto your ear. Then the excess skin and soft tissue is removed—staying exactly on that line. The intervening earlobe edge’s soft tissues are thinned, and the earlobe is repaired. This technique primarily shortens earlobes that are too long.
An alternative method is to perform a wedge-shaped excision of redundant earlobe tissue (Patient 3, above). This creates a vertical scar (instead of a curved horizontal one) and enables narrowing of earlobes that are too wide, as well as some shortening of length.
Either procedure works well, and we can decide together which one will best suit your anatomy and preferences.
Repair and reduction for gauged earlobes
Gauging the ears is popular with many teens and twenty-somethings. Unfortunately, it leaves the earlobes severely stretched and deformed. Many patients choose to repair gauged earlobes due to the eventual cosmetic appearance or due to lack of acceptance by workplaces and the military. Repair of gauged earlobes entails a combination of torn earlobe repair and earlobe reduction. The thinned rim of tissue along the lower part of the earlobe is removed as a wedge excision, creating a vertical incision in much the same way as a wedge earlobe reduction procedure (see above). The more stretched the earlobe is prior to repair, the smaller the earlobe will be after repair. For more information about gauged earlobe repair including pricing please call our office at (469) 306-1774.
For more information, including before and after photos of earlobe repairs and reductions, please visit www.plasticsurgerydallas.com or call us at (469) 306-1774.
Ronald M. Friedman, M.D.
Director, West Plano Plastic Surgery Center
Former Chief of Plastic Surgery, Parkland Memorial Hospital, Dallas
Dr. Friedman is the Founder and Director of the West Plano Plastic Surgery Center on the campus of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital of Plano. He has been named Best Plastic Surgeon by D Magazine for 6 consecutive years and is the 2012 plastic surgery winner of the Best of Plano and the Best of Denton. He has an office in Plano and serves the Frisco, Allen, McKinney, Colleyville, Grapevine, and Southlake communities.