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Earlobe Reconstructive Surgery

Posted by Dr Ashish Dutta on 11 October 2017

Earlobe Reconstructive Surgery

This procedure is primarily undertaken for the repair of damaged ear lobes that have suffered trauma via damage through tearing by invasive foreign bodies such as earrings or pronounced physical adjustment by stretching through the body piercing practice gauging. The reconstructive surgery is totally different from Otoplasty or ear pinning which is purely a corrective procedure for misshapen or protruding ears.

The Process Of Physical Damage

The ear lobe is prone to damage simply because it is composed of skin and fat and is devoid of bone or cartilage unlike other parts of the organ which have reinforcement via dense cartilage content .The lobe itself is prone to damage by heavy earrings that tend to follow the course of gravity or accidents involving catching of same in clothing or objects and by accidentally or deliberately being pulled by children when being worn.

The trauma suffered may stretch the ear piercing tract and the tears may continue through the earlobe causing a complete split. Some splits may be less noticeable with superficial healing given time but resulting scarring of the tissue can be unsightly and the damage can make wearing or piercing of the ear lobes again difficult. Stretching of the earlobes by larger gauges can be repaired by the corrective procedure thus allowing earrings to be worn again after the surgery.

Physical Procedure

Earlobe surgery is conducted as an outpatient status using local anaesthetic. The procedure lasts approximately one hour depending on the complexity of the repair needed. The damaged area of skin lining, tear or piercing tract is cut away along with excess tissue and the surgeon uses sutures to bond the lobe back together, consequently the lobe is smaller. If the lobe has suffered a split, it’s advisable to allow the wound to heal naturally before contemplating surgery; but a partial split can be operated on straight away.

In some cases it can be possible to re-pierce the ears as part of the surgical repair procedure although you will need to wear provided stud earrings for about two months healing time before switching to more regular types of earrings. Temporary spacers or stitches may also be used allowing light earrings to be worn after six weeks or so and you can proceed to heavier duty earrings after full healing of the lobes.

The Ear Lobe Surgical Recovery

It’s entirely likely you may feel some discomfort after your surgery. Pharmacy based counter medication may help reduce the pain. Your surgeon will advise detailed information on caring for the surgical area with approved medication. Cosmetically you will not bandage on the area but approved antibiotic ointment can be applied to the incision to reduce any chance of infection. Any stitches will be removed after the swelling has reduced, this can take about a week. Allowing recovery time is an important process of healing and you should not skimp on this ensuring you follow your post-operative advice to the letter for maximum recovery.

All surgery however minor involves risk so do ensure you understand what you are agreeing to and your chosen practitioner will be happy to answer your questions and put your mind at rest. Post-surgical considerations involve using lightweight or stud earrings instead of the heavier types (especially with children around) to avoid risk and a repetition of problems.


Depending on the amount of damage to the ear lobes and the extent of the surgery, costs vary between £300 and £700, but more extensive tears can cost more to repair. The procedure is not generally covered by insurance as its cosmetic only, although financing plans may be available through your surgeon.

Choosing The Correct Ear Lobe Repair Surgeon

This daunting process can be avoided by choosing a skilled surgeon. On the internet, there are many directories of skilled facial plastic surgeon practitioners that are happy to help and will provide an initial consultation to examine your ear lobes, check your medical history and provide skilled reassurance by answering all your questions about any proposed procedure.