Earlobes are perfect for showcasing our jewelry or informally holding back our long hair, but what do you do when your earlobes start to look less-than-perfect themselves?
It can happen to anyone. Years of wearing heavy pierced earrings or progressively larger gauged earrings, even getting older can cause earlobes to stretch and look saggy. Accidents can happen, too, thanks to playful tiny hands or pets or simply snagging an earring on something, resulting in a torn earlobe.
All ears are vulnerable, whether the lobes are naturally attached or unattached. But if you have multiple ear piercings you are at greater risk for problems.
Whatever the problem, we can fix that here at Eterna Cosmetic Surgery. And it’s surprisingly quick, with little downtime. Dr. Elizabeth Hernandez says there are two options for earlobe repair, depending on the problem.
For mild to moderate stretching of the piercing, Dr. Hernandez uses dermal fillers to restore shape by adding volume to the earlobes. She can fill with Juvéderm, other hyaluronic acid fillers, or Renuva, which is made from adipose allograft material that stimulates production of new fat cells. Fillers such as Juvéderm and Renuva are easy to inject, and they add support to the lobe, both on the outside and to compress the hole, making it tighter.
Dermal filler injections take just a few minutes and usually require no downtime.
More severe stretching and torn tissue require surgery, officially known as loboplasty. Dr. Hernandez is a skilled and experienced cosmetic surgeon, and compared to other types of surgery, earlobe repair surgery is pretty straightforward. It is an outpatient procedure that typically takes just 30-45 minutes for both ears.
Dr. Hernandez numbs the lobe with local anesthetic. Then, depending on the type of damage, she will remove excess skin or reattach torn skin as needed, then reshape the lobe to give it a more lifted, youthful appearance. The results will look very natural.
You will go home following surgery, or you can return to work, but it’s best to avoid strenuous exercise the day of the procedure to limit swelling. Over-the-counter pain medication is usually all that is needed to be comfortable.
Almost Everyone Is a Good Candidate for Earlobe Repair
While it’s true that aging can cause earlobes to droop, Dr. Hernandez says it’s rare for patients to request an evaluation for an aging-related lift. Instead, about 99% of patients come to Eterna to be evaluated for repair of enlarged earlobe piercing, torn earlobes, or gauged earlobes. However, if you have a personal history of severe scarring or keloids, you may not be a good candidate for surgery.
Dr. Hernandez recommends that patients wait at least 3 to 6 months before re-piercing ears following a repair procedure, to ensure plenty of time for healing. This can differ for each patient, however, so she will discuss this detail as well as everything else you need to know during your personal consultation.