The most common earlobe deformities are split earlobes, enlarged piercing holes, and elongated earlobes. The first two are related to trauma. Big earlobes often result from prolonged use of heavy earrings or even the natural aging process.
A split earlobe is a separation of the skin on the lobe causing a split-like appearance.
Split earlobes are almost always caused by piercings and trauma related to piercings. Other causes may include bites or other trauma.
An earlobe reduction is a procedure that restores a smaller, more youthful looking earlobe. The procedure is done in the office and is often combined with other facial rejuvenation procedures such as a facelift or facial fat grafting.
You are normal if you have noticed that your earlobes are larger now than they were, let’s say, 20 years ago. Earlobes and the nose are two components of the face that continue to enlarge over time. Even men and women who have no history of wearing earings will see growth in their earlobes.
Earlobe repairs can be performed in the office under local anesthesia. However, they are commonly performed with other facial rejuvenation procedures such as a facelift and fat grafting that often require the person to be asleep.
You will arrive to the office. It is fine to have food or fluids before the procedure. Topical numbing medicine will be applied to your earlobes and around the lower part of your ear. Local anesthesia will then be injected into the lobe and around portions of the ear. The ear will be wiped with either alcohol or betadine, and you may be re-positioned on your side or lying down. Sterile drapes are placed around the ear and you are tested to see if the earlobe is numb. Once totally anesthetized, the incisions are made and closed with stitches. Bacitracin and a bandage will be applied.
Each earlobe can take about 30 minutes to complete.
No time off work or school is required after the most common earlobe procedures. However, you will have some mild swelling and stitches may be visible for up to seven days after surgery.
It depends. Most procedures where the incisions are made behind the ear receive dissolvable stitches. Permanent stitches that will need to be removed are placed in areas of more visibility.
Some may need to come out and others may stay in and dissolve. If the dissolvable ones don’t dissolve within two weeks, they can be removed in the office.
Sometimes the earlobe can be re-pierced the same day as the procedure. In other cases, it is wise to let the swelling subside, which may take up to three weeks.
Every procedure carries some type of risk. However, earlobe repair is a very safe operation. The most common complications include issues related to healing such as poor scarring, the formation of a notch where the skin meets, and infection. Revisions can always be made. It should be noted that smokers tend to heal poorly and every effort should be made to avoid nicotine products for at least four weeks before the procedure to optimize the scar.
Virtually every external incision will form some type of scar. A scar is the body’s natural healing response. Everyone has their own genetic predisposition to scarring. Some will heal so well that the scar is virtually invisible to the human eye, while others may keloid. The best marker for scarring is prior scars you may have as this offers an indication of how your body heals. The second is a good surgical closure with appropriate suture selection and timely removal of stitches. Sunscreen, massaging, and scar creams also help to reduce visible scarring.
The scars for earlobe reduction are camouflaged well in the natural contours of the ear. For split earlobe repairs, it may follow natural contours of it may run through the earlobe, depending on the specific repair needed.
It is wise to avoid strenuous exercise for 48 hours after earlobe surgery to minimize the chance of bleeding and to reduce pain.
Generally, one can drive after surgery unless anxiolytics like valium or narcotics were taken.
One can shower the next day as long as common sense is exercised. Don’t scrub the area. The most gentle shampoo is Johnson and Johnson baby shampoo.
Generally, narcotics will not be needed, but a prescription can be provided if necessary. Antibiotics may be taken for a few days following surgery to prevent infection.
Follow up is generally five to seven days after surgery. Dr. Neavin will also see you a few weeks later to ensure proper healing.
Earlobe surgery is a surface operation. There is no risk to any major vessels or nerves. However, bleeding into the surgical site can make the operation less precise than desired or delay wound healing. Dr. Neavin may advise you to stop some medications or take other steps to lower bleeding risk before your surgery.
Earlobe repair is usually a straightforward procedure with minimal discomfort and downtime involved. To learn more about your choices in this procedure, contact Artisan of Beauty Plastic Surgery at 310‑858‑8811.