Earlobe Reconstruction: What to Expect From Earlobe Repair Surgery

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Actual Dr Rizk patient

There are a number of ways in which your earlobes can become damaged, from wearing heavy earrings to trauma which damages or tears the earlobe past the point of natural recovery. The popular trend of ear gauging, ear plugs and tunnels has also left many Australians with deformations to the earlobe which cannot be corrected without a cosmetic procedure.

The goal of earlobe repair and earlobe reconstruction surgery is to create a natural shape to the earlobe which will suit the shape of your face and also improve your quality of life.

This month, we share what to expect from earlobe repair surgery, from causes of trauma to how you can prepare for your earlobe reconstruction procedure:

WHAT IS EARLOBE REPAIR SURGERY?

Earlobe reconstruction is a procedure used to repair the earlobes of patients who have experienced trauma or injury to the lobe area. Recent advances in this area of cosmetic surgery means that an aesthetically pleasing appearance can easily be restored to the earlobe, and patients do not have to suffer permanent damage or scarring.

Once you have undergone earlobe reconstruction surgery, you will also be able to reintroduce earrings without fear of causing further damage to your earlobes.

CAUSES OF EARLOBE TRAUMA

Damage to the earlobes can be caused in a number of ways, resulting in a split earlobe or an elongated ear piercing hole. Stretched earlobes can occur as a result of regularly wearing heavy earrings or using ear plugs, particularly if you have naturally thin earlobes. Heavy earrings can also gradually widen the ear piercing hole, creating a tear which is referred to as partially split earlobes.

A split or torn earlobe is generally caused by acute trauma, such as being pulled on by a small child or animal, or from earrings becoming caught in clothing or other objects. In some cases, split earlobes can happen when people who don’t have pierced ears wear clip-on earrings which are too tight, restricting blood flow to the earlobe and causing necrosis.

If your earlobe split or elongation is caused by a congenital problem, then earlobe reconstruction surgery may also be able to help you achieve a more proportionate and natural result.

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Actual Dr Rizk patient

WHAT HAPPENS DURING THE EARLOBE RECONSTRUCTION PROCEDURE?

This procedure is relatively simple and can generally take between 30 – 60 minutes to complete.

A local anaesthetic is used to numb the earlobe, and the lobe will be repaired using the appropriate method for the injury. For example, a split earlobe is repaired by an incision being made on either side of the tear before the halves are sutured together. In cases where the earlobe has been excessively stretched through trauma or the use of ear tunnels, the excess skin is removed and the piercing hole repaired.

You will need to return to our Stanmore clinic at a later date to have the sutures removed and for a follow up appointment.

PREPARING FOR YOUR PROCEDURE

Before your earlobe reconstruction procedure, you will receive preoperative instructions from your surgeon. It is vital that you follow these instructions carefully to ensure the best outcome from your surgery.

If your earlobe damage is the result of ear plugs or excessive stretching of the lobe, then you should refrain from wearing ear jewellery for several months prior to surgery. This will help the skin of your earlobe to shrink as much as possible before the procedure.

You should also let your surgeon know if you intend to re-pierce your ears following the procedure, and if you or your family has a history of keloid scarring. This will allow them to take your wishes into account, and use techniques which facilitate your unique goals.

ARE THERE ANY POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONS FROM EARLOBE REPAIR SURGERY?

Dr Rizk advocates the National Law and Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) guidelines, which state that any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks.

He recommends that before proceeding with earlobe reconstruction surgery that you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

HOW LONG DOES RECOVERY TAKE?

Recovery from earlobe repair surgery generally takes 4 – 5 days, and can be longer if sutures need to be removed.

Please follow the instructions of your surgeon carefully regarding post-operative care. The wounds will need to be kept dry for the first few days following the procedure, and you may also be asked to apply antiseptic ointment or use gentle massage to minimise the formation of scar tissue.

You should be able to have your ears pierced again after 12 weeks, but it is recommended that patients avoid using heavy earrings in the future.

Dr Joseph Rizk is an expert plastic and reconstructive surgeon in the fields of face, breast and body surgery. Based in Sydney, Dr Rizk has undergone extensive training in Australia, the US and the Netherlands, and specialises in providing uniquely tailored solutions for each one of his patients.

If you are considering earlobe repair or earlobe reconstruction surgery, book a consultation with Dr Rizk today

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