Gauged Earlobe Repair

Earlobe Damage from Earlobe Gauges

Earlobe gauging is a body art treatment where people place sequential “plugs” or gauges into the hole in a pierced ear. Slowly increasing the size of the gauges produces dilated and sometimes extremely holes in the earlobes.

Assortment of earlobe gauges

Selected cases

The case below show a large, stretched lobe before and after repair.
Before and After Earlobe Repair


The case below was complex in that there were expanded lobes and Dr. Niamtu had to repair a large cartilage piercing in each conchal bowl.




Repair is performed with local anesthesia and usually involves 2-3 procedures. The first procedure closes the hole and takes about 20 minutes to perform. The patient is seen about a month later and the earlobe is then sculpted to a more normal configuration with radiosurgery or laser. Finally, a third appointment may be required to treat the surgical scar or refine the lobe.

Additional Gauged Earlobe Repair Examples

The above patient started out with gauges that could fit a beer can.  He is shown after repair by Dr. Niamtu

The above picture of an actual patient of Dr. Niamtu


Actual repair by Dr. Niamtu.  Note the lobe is still pink from the CO2 laser procedure to improve the scar.

In most cases the earlobe can be restored to a very natural appearance.  After the repair, Dr. Niamtu will sometimes perform a reshaping of the repaired lobe using lasers to improve the scar.

If patients leave out their gauges or plugs for several months, the holes will get smaller, thus making the surgical repair easier.

The patient below is shown after gauged earlobe repair. Leaving the larger gauge out for 6-12 weeks, makes the repair easier because the hole partially closes.
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Patient with ear gauges in place

This actual patient of Dr. Niamtu’s left her gauges out for 90 days and the holes closed significantly, making the repair easier.


This patient is shown before, immediately after and 6 weeks after surgery.  The redness of the lobes is from laser treatment to improve the scar and will improve with healing.