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Certain parts of the face are paid little attention to. In the area of plastic surgery or cosmetic enhancements, most patients think of areas such as the eyes, mouth, cheeks, and overall skin quality as prime targets for improvement. However, one spot that many people overlook is the ears—particularly the earlobes. The earlobes still contribute to one’s overall visual appeal and having misshapen, deformed, or injured earlobes can cause people to become self-conscious, deal with pain, or other negatives that impact their quality of life.
To learn more about earlobe repair or to find out if you a good candidate, please contact our office in Bethesda, Maryland and schedule a consultation with one of our highly experienced and talented physicians.
What is Earlobe Repair?
Despite the name, earlobe repair surgery isn’t just performed because of injury or other damage.
Earlobe repair is a cosmetic procedure that reshapes and/or repairs the earlobe to either restore it to a previously symmetrical state, or undo damage done to the earlobes and surrounding tissue that has been caused by trauma, piercings, or gauges. Natural processes such as aging can impact the ears just as much as the rest of the face, causing the earlobes to droop and for the ear to lose the collagen that makes up most of its internal structure. Also, if one wears heavy earrings, this too can drag down or even tear the earlobes, requiring cosmetic surgery to realign them with the rest of the face.
Reasons to Get Earlobe Repair Surgery
There are many reasons why a patient might come to the Cosmetic Surgery Associates for earlobe repair surgery. The causes of earlobe deformity are numerous, ranging from wearing heavy earrings for much of one’s life, traumatic physical injury, genetics, or just plain old age. Here are a few conditions you might find one or both of your earlobes in that may require earlobe repair surgery to correct.
Known as a fashion statement, gauge earrings can stretch earlobes and leave large permanent holes in the lower ear. As people get older and fashions change, they may wish to restore their ears to previously smaller states.
Earlobes can easily be torn in unfortunate circumstances, such as physical trauma, being snagged or yanked on by kids, having earrings stuck in clothes or hair, and just by wearing earrings too heavy for the earlobe to hold up.
When other areas of the face undergo cosmetic surgeries, such as brow lifts, face lifts, or dermal fillers, it can shift how the ears are positioned and make them look asymmetrical or positioned too high or too low, requiring repair to fix.
People who are born with earlobes that they think look too large or too small can have earlobe repair surgery to make them more proportionate to the rest of the face.
Benefits of Earlobe Repair
No area of the face is too small to be addressed by the Cosmetic Surgery Associates in order to ensure our patients are satisfied with every aspect of their appearance. Earlobe repair surgery not only can fix physical imbalances but also provide patients with peace of mind and greater quality of life.
While the surgery requires the earlobes to be given time to heal, patients are able to return to their normal routines and activity relatively quickly. The bandages and sutures used to help them heal after the surgery also do not tend to interfere with daily tasks, though it is suggested that patients refrain from strenuous activity until the stitches are removed, and your physician approves the healing process.
Ears that no longer look symmetrical, or someone who has one ear damaged or deformed can have them made to appear similar again, bringing back a balanced look to the overall face that hairstyles and earrings could not.
Earlobe repair surgery is highly individualized, with each patient receiving unique case review and treatment.
With symmetry brought back to the face and ears, or damaged tissue having been eliminated or at least reduced in appearance, patients often enjoy a confidence boost and feel more attractive.
If you are a healthy adult with earlobes that need to be repaired or otherwise physically altered, earlobe repair surgery is an excellent method for this concern.
Patients who have a congenital defect, have experienced physical trauma to the ears, have a torn or stretched earlobe, or have other cosmetic procedures performed on the face may all be good candidates for this surgery. Otherwise, any patients who simply wish to alter the appearance of their earlobes may pursue this cosmetic surgery to achieve for more aesthetic appeal.
Patients should be in overall good health and have no underlying conditions that can affect the body’s ability to heal. In the case that earlobe repair is not the ideal treatment for the patient’s concerns, our doctors will be sure to recommend an alternative treatment to help them meet their needs and aesthetic goals.
To find out if you are a good candidate for this minimally invasive cosmetic procedure, please contact our office today and schedule a consultation.
What to Expect During the Consultation
To proceed with an earlobe repair surgery, all patients with the Cosmetic Surgery Associates must participate in a pre-operation meeting to review their particular needs with our physicians and establish a treatment plan tailored to their goals. The physician involved in the treatment will cover all the steps leading up to and following the earlobe repair surgery and will answer all questions and allay all concerns a patient may have. The physician will also review the patient’s medical history, especially addressing any past surgeries, any current medications they may be prescribed, known allergies, and lifestyle factors such as drinking, smoking, diet, and exercise to anticipate anything that might cause complications or raise risk in the procedure.
Your doctor will assess your situation and ensure you’re a good candidate for the surgery as well. Your earlobe will be examined to determine how much correction is needed to improve its appearance, and also set your expectations to be realistic. It is a perfect opportunity to ask any pressing questions about earlobe repair surgery, including issues such as:
- Will I require pain medication after the surgery?
- What anesthetics will be used during the surgery?
- How long is the recovery process?
- Are there any special precautions I should take during the recovery period?
The particular procedure will vary from patient to patient, based on the state of the earlobe(s) being treated. Torn earlobes must be addressed differently than those that are stretched, for instance. Whatever the approach, it is often done with just local anesthesia and is practically painless. Your doctor from the Cosmetic Surgery Associates will mark the earlobe for incision areas, aiming to hide any needed cuts within the ear’s natural folds.
A torn earlobe can be repaired via surgery within an hour’s time, with the pieces of the earlobe sutured together, and the sutures removed within a week to ten days.
If the earlobes have been shifted due to other cosmetic procedures, such as a facelift, the physician is able to cut a small notch and use sutures in order to restore a normal appearance and attachment to the rest of the face.
For stretched earlobes, your physician must address the extended skin and underlying tissue, which is cut away and then restored to a natural appearance using the excess skin. Sutures are used with local anesthesia, which is then removed within a week to ten days.
For earlobe resizing, the physician simply removes the appropriate amount of skin and tissue and seals up any incisions with stitches.
Once a patient is sent home following the earlobe repair surgery, the earlobes are usually bandaged to accelerate the healing process. Antibiotic cream can be prescribed along with pain medication, though discomfort is usually minimal and subsides within the first week of recovery. Your surgeon will address any cleaning steps to keep the earlobe areas hygienic during the healing time. It is not uncommon for patients to have a level of swelling and mild pain after the surgery, but this should be manageable and will subside within a few days. A follow-up appointment is normally scheduled to ensure the earlobes are progressing properly.
To help minimize scarring, it is recommended that patients avoid extended, direct exposure to sunlight and apply a scar reduction lotion that also has a high SPF. Full recovery and scar maturation may take up to a year, depending on the care the patient applies to the treated area.
As with most cosmetic surgeries, the final cost is going to range widely depending on your particular case and if additional treatments will be combined with the earlobe repair for more comprehensive results.
Be sure to discuss your earlobe concerns during your consultation to help our physicians provide you with an accurate price quote for the procedure. To obtain your personalized earlobe repair pricing, please contact Cosmetic Surgery Associates and schedule a consultation with one of our physicians today!
Our Plastic Surgery Associates team includes Dr. Franklin Richards, Dr. A. Dean Jabs, and Dr. Keshav Magge. Each of our plastic surgeons is board-certified, and together they have over 60 years of combined experience. Drs. Richards, Jabs, and Magge are all highly qualified in procedures for the face, breast, and body, and pride themselves in providing excellent results through our state-of-the-art, Quad A certified operating centers