Reconstructive and Restorative Earlobe Procedures

A split or torn earlobe is one of the most common aesthetic deformities of the ear. However, it can be easily repaired. Earrings, improper piercing, gauging (a body piercing practice), or trauma to the earlobe can result in tears or stretching to the area. This can cause distress to patients who wish to continue wearing earrings or would like to restore the natural appearance to their earlobes. If you are unhappy with the appearance and symmetry of your earlobes, there is a simple and effective procedure available.

Request a Consultation

What is Earlobe Repair?

Earlobe repair surgery is a reconstructive procedure performed to reestablish the proper appearance of the lobe by cutting away healed skin on the inside of the torn earlobe and suturing the fresh edges together. This results in a symmetric and naturally-looking earlobe with only a fine, linear scar. The following individuals may be good candidates for earlobe repair:
  • Individuals with a split or tear from an acute accidental pull on an earring, or an ear piercing placed too close to the earlobe rim.
  • Individuals with stretched earlobes due to wearing heavy earrings or from gauging, or individuals with an enlarged earring hole in the earlobe.
  • Individuals with a history of trauma to the earlobe.
If you have any of these concerns, you may be an ideal candidate for reconstructive earlobe repair surgery.

Philadelphia's premier plastic surgery practice, W Cosmetic Surgery®, can repair your earlobes to their natural appearance. Double board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Kevin Ende, is an expert in reconstructive earlobe repair surgery. Whether you have a minor or severe tear in the earlobe, it can be typically repaired with excellent results.

Earlobe Repair or Earlobe Rejuvenation Treatment?

Through the process of aging, our ears lose collagen and elastin causing earlobes to droop and sag. There are two primary surgical techniques used to perform restoration to the earlobes: earlobe repair and earlobe rejuvenation treatment. Earlobe repair is a surgical procedure and earlobe rejuvenation is a non-invasive procedure performed with dermal fillers, such as Restylane®.

When deciding on which procedure is best for you, it’s important to consider the individual benefits of each and to have realistic expectations of the desired outcome.

Droopy or Sagging Earlobes
Droopiness or sagging of the earlobes can result from the natural process of aging, wearing heavy jewelry or gauging. Both methods of restoration to the earlobes may be used to reconstruct the area, but depending on the severity of the droop, one option may be more effective than the other.

For milder cases of droopy earlobes, an earlobe rejuvenation treatment can add volume to the earlobes by injecting a small amount of filler, such as Restylane®. This procedure instantly expands the earlobe outward, creating a smaller, more youthful-looking lobe. In more severe cases resulting from gauging, earlobe repair may be recommended.

Earlobes With a History of Trauma
For earlobes with a higher level of trauma than a loss of volume and elasticity, such as deep splits or stretches, reconstructive earlobe repair is likely recommended. For patients who have a complete tear through the earlobe, earlobe repair is required. However, Restylane® filler can be added to restore volume back to the earlobe after it has healed from surgery.
 
These scenarios should not replace an in-office consultation with your plastic surgeon. This is only meant to help educate you on the possible options. We will evaluate your unique case and provide the best solutions with you at our office.

Earlobe Repair Procedure Overview
The earlobe repair surgery is performed in our surgical suite while the patient is comfortably sedated under local anesthesia. To start the procedure, we first cut away the healed skin on the inside of the torn earlobe. The fresh edges are then stitched back together using very fine sutures. Earlobe repair is a short procedure and takes between 10–15 minutes, depending on the severity of the split.

Recovering from Earlobe Repair
The recovery from an earlobe repair surgery is relatively short. After the procedure, the patient may return home immediately and resume their normal work schedule. An over-the-counter pain medication such as Tylenol® may be recommended for any mild discomfort. Patients must apply a prescribed antibiotic ointment to the incisions to prevent infection. Typically, the sutures are removed in 5–7 days, after swelling is reduced. In some cases, dissolvable sutures are used and do not require removal. Once healing is complete, after several weeks, patients may have their ears re-pierced and resume wearing earrings. However, due to the reconstructive surgery, the repaired site is weaker than the surrounding tissue, causing it to tear more easily. Repiercing should only be performed at a slight distance from the scar site and not in the same area as the scar.
Before Image After Image
Our Results
The following image is an example of an earlobe repair we have performed to help you set a realistic expectation.
Certifications & Boards
American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery
American Board of Cosmetic Surgery
American Board of Ophthalmology
American Board of Phisician Specialties
American College of Surgeons
American Society of Ophthalmic Plasic and Reconstructive Surgery
American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
National Academy of Inventors