Repairing Stretched Earlobes
By Sheryl Pilcher on January 16, 2014
Body modification can be an effective form of self-expression, as it gives people the means to make a visibly bold statement about themselves. However, as lifestyles, occupations, and tastes change over time, certain modifications may no longer be desired. Earlobe stretching is one such trend that can leave a lasting and conspicuous effect on the body.
At our San Antonio plastic surgery office, we offer reparative treatment to return the earlobe to its natural shape. Through one or more surgical techniques, years of stretched skin and tissue can be mended in a single outpatient visit.
Reasons for Earlobe Repair
Most reasons for ear surgery, also called otoplasty, are cosmetic in nature. Often, patients are displeased with the shape or size of their ears, and seek surgery as a way to enhance the face’s overall aesthetic balance. Stretched earlobes can present an even greater challenge to patients, especially those who have largely “gauged” their lobes through plugs. Although traditionally sized piercings are known to close on their own, those that exceed nine millimeters in diameter will not heal to a “normal” size, leaving a permanent effect on the earlobe. While piercings nine millimeters and under have a better chance of closing, the results will not necessarily be quick or satisfactory.
Additionally, the reasons for repairing stretched earlobes may go beyond matters of personal taste. As young adults begin to search for job opportunities or enter more professional environments, they may find that their appearance can be a decisive factor in their success. Sometimes, ear gauging can be performed too quickly, damaging an ear or creating excessive scarring. Whether your reasons are personal, professional, or a matter of health, consider the benefits of ear surgery.
Before undergoing surgery to repair a stretched or damaged earlobe, you will first need to consult your doctor to determine which techniques should be used. Smaller problems may only require minimal tissue repair and sutures, while severely stretched lobes may require a more advanced level of reconstruction. Only through an initial consultation can you gain an accurate understanding of what to expect from surgery.
Once you and your doctor have agreed upon an appropriate method of surgery, you can expect a relatively straightforward procedure:
- Local anesthesia, usually lidocaine, will be administered to the area to eliminate discomfort.
- Damaged tissue will be removed from the interior of the piercing, allowing it to heal properly after surgery.
- Tissue will be sutured together, closing the earlobe and restoring a natural shape.
- If the earlobe retains a sagging or unusually large appearance, excess skin can be removed while the remaining tissue is contoured.
Recovery and Healing
Recovery from earlobe repair is a quick and easy process when compared with other plastic surgery treatments. Some swelling and discomfort can be expected over the first few days, though these effects are generally mild. Most patients can manage any discomfort through over-the-counter pain medications, but prescription painkillers can be used as needed. By keeping your bandages on and the incisions clean, you should notice a significant improvement within the first week.
While risks of complication are low, any surgery poses a small risk of infection. Be sure to take any prescribed antibiotics to curb infection, and follow any instructions for recovery given by your doctor.
Get Started On Your New Look
At Accent Plastic Surgery, we are devoted to helping you meet your cosmetic goals. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Pilcher or to learn more about our various ear surgery procedures.
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