Earlobe repair is an aesthetic intervention to mend stretched, enlarged or torn earlobes. This is a short, sweet and simple procedure that is highly sought after by anyone with earlobe piercings over time.

Occurrence:

The earlobe is made up of soft tissue unlike the rest of the ear which is supported by cartilage, this allows various movements and weights to tug and pull. This ultimately leads to stretching which causes enlargement or even trauma which can cause a tear in the earlobe.

Enlargement:

Stretching or enlargement of the earlobe is the most common cause that leads to this treatment. It is mostly caused by regular and prolonged usage of heavy earrings which working along with gravity puts pressure on the delicate earlobe and causes enlargement.

Tear:

Earlobe tears usually occur due to different types of earrings like danglers or hoops that get caught and are tugged causing an accident or trauma. However, extended use of earrings with thin stems can have a saw-like effect on the earlobe. Over a period of time, this can cause lashes or partially tear the earlobe as well.

Prevention

The enlargement or tear of earlobes can be easily prevented by wearing small lightweight studs (preferably precious metal) for regular usage. One should avoid wearing heavy statement pieces, danglers or hoops for long hours and either opt to wear them occasionally or dress up using other pieces of jewellery. It is also recommended to sleep without any earrings to avoid tugging.

Procedure:

The treatment is of short duration and begins with the pre-procedural steps. The practitioner starts by drawing a line to mark the area, which is followed by administering a local anaesthetic. Once the area is numb, a slit is made and the surgeon reshapes the earlobe by removing the excess skin and attains the desired shape. The procedure is wrapped up by closing the slit with either sutures or glue and some protective dressing is applied.

Expectations:

Fast procedure – 30 min to 1 hour for both ears.
Concealed scarring
Minimal down-time – 2 to 8 weeks.
Painless
Possibilities of re-piercing.
Lower price points – they vary depending on damage but are comparatively low.

Stitches vs Glue:

The traditional and most preferred method of closing the slit in this procedure is using sutures. The modern counterpart, the glue which is mostly opted for its only advantage; a painless after-effect. However, the glue has many cons like:

Visible scarring – the glue only holds onto the outer layers of the skin and as the skin heals, a valley like dent is formed leaving a visible scar.
Multiple visits – glue may require 6 to 8 sittings and touch-ups to gain its complete effects.
No earrings – in most cases, one may only be given the option of wearing small thread studs to prevent a recurrence.
Tearing – there is a high chance of the earlobe tearing because of earrings which may split the effects of the glue.

Opting for surgery:

The traditional method of surgery with sutures has many pros that fulfil the expectations of patients in a better manner.

Pros:

Unnoticeable scarring – the stitches bind all the skin layers which promote better holistic healing and leaves a concealed scar which is unnoticeable.

Re-piercing – after healing, the ear can be re-pierced and the patient can resume wearing earrings.

Low recurrence – if proper prevention and maintenance standards are followed, the chances of recurrence is minimal.

Economical – it involves only two sittings, one for the procedure and one for a follow up if all goes well.

Low infection risk.

Cons

The only con is that the patient has to get the stitches removed a week or two after the procedure, making this the most ideal method for this treatment.

Maintenance:

Post-procedure once healing has completed and the patient resumes regular usage of earrings, the only rules to be followed are the steps of prevention. This will ensure that there is no recurrence. In addition to this, fillers can be provided to maintain the plumpness giving a fuller look to the earlobe.

References:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15034812/
http://ispub.com/IJFP/2/2/12857
https://www.yourplasticsurgeryguide.com/ear/earlobe-repair-surgery/
https://www.skinandyou.in/treatments/ear-lobe-repair-glue-repair/

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Tamira Plastic Surgery

No. 18, Gopalapuram 1st St, Gopalapuram, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600086