Surgical repair is the answer to stretched earlobes

Stretched Earlobe Repair before and afterA common procedure among certain cultures is earlobe “stretching.” This is achieved with various types of jewelry such as tunnels, plugs, caps, cogs, and gauges to cause the desired aesthetic effect. Stretching is unlike conventional piercing in that an earlobe gauge is placed in a pierced hole until the surrounding tissue heals completely. This procedure is done with progressively larger gauges, gradually increasing the diameter of the lumen to result in an enlarged earlobe with a partial split.

But what happens when you are over it or the appearance of your ears have become a hindrance in your professional career choices?

You can choose to:

1. Remove the jewelry, begin to decrease the size of the gauge, and massage the lobes every day with essential oils to help scar tissue heal faster. However, if you have gone above a 12mm gauge you will most likely not experience much shrinkage in the earlobe.

2. Seek surgical correction. The surgical reconstruction for stretched ears is becoming increasingly more popular. The procedure can be done under local anesthesia in a board certified plastic surgeon’s office. It is important to have realistic expectations of the procedure results and your goals should be discussed with your surgeon.

The procedure will take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours depending on the size of the defect. The inner surface of the stretched lobe is de-epithelialized to create a fresh wound edge. The stretched lobe is reduced and the new wound edges are reapproximated to reconstruct a smaller earlobe. In most cases, sutures are absorbable and dissolve within 7-14 days of surgery. While healing, the incision sites are to be kept clean to prevent infections that can be caused by contact from contaminated cell phones and/or stems of eyewear, both of which come into close contact with the healing wounds.

For more information about the reconstruction of your stretched earlobes, call us at North Coast Plastic Surgery in Oceanside, California, (760) 655-1414. We look forward to helping you in achieving your goals.