Gauged Ear Lobe Repair
Although people have been adorning or stretching their ear lobes for thousands of years, it has become socially fashionable with younger people along with tattooing and body piercing. I have seen many patients that are now entering the workplace and consider the stretched ear lobes a liability for being hired. To my surprise, many of these patients did not realize that this is usually a pretty simple process.
The above image shows a patient with gauged earlobe plugs and rings in place.
When patients present for consultation, the first thing we do is to get the plugs out and allow the lobe to shrink down for 12 weeks or so. This allows a more conservative surgical procedure as there is less “hole” to deal with. The pictures below show patients that presented after having the plugs out for 12 weeks.
The above image shows gauged ear lobes ( 3 months after leaving the plugs out and before repair) and the after images taken 6 weeks after the repair. The lobe is still pink from the CO2 laser treatment to improve the scar and will return to normal color.
Some patients cannot or do not want to wait for the holes to shrink or their lobes are so stretched, that they will not shrink. In those cases, we will do surgery at their convenience without waiting for shrinkage.
The surgical procedure is simple and is performed with local anesthesia. The lobe is numbed and cleaned with surgical scrub to sterilize the tissue. The excess tissue is then removed and the lobe is sutured into a more natural configuration. In smaller repairs, a single surgery may take care of the problem but larger stretchings may require several surgeries to restore the lobe to normal.
Some surgeons do not realize that “finishing” procedures can make a big difference in the final result. Some patients are left with a pointed lobe after repair. Using radiowave surgery to blunt any “pointing” on the lobe takes only seconds and will restore a normal border contour. In addition, CO2 laser resurfacing of the final incision can homogenize the scar, making is almost invisible. Silicone injections can also be used to plump the lobe as repair will sometimes hollow the lobe. These small perfections can make all the difference in the final result.
The above image shows a patient before and after picture of gauged earlobe repair. The lobe is still pink several weeks after the laser resurfacing procedure to blend the scar.
For more information of earlobe reconstruction or cosmetic facial surgery visit www.lovethatface.com
Joe Niamtu, III DMD
Cosmetic Facial Surgery