1. Your earlobe is made of skin and fatty tissue.
Unlike the rest of your ear which is supported by a strong cartilage framework, the earlobe is soft and stretchy. We all have a variation of two types of earlobes. Some people have attached earlobes and others are considered ”free” or unattached. If your earlobe hangs away from the side of your face, this is considered a sign of a free spirit! Those with attached earlobes are considered self-aware, secure and motivated. There is a theory that people have either attached or unattached earlobes controlled by a single gene, but this has never been scientifically proven, and many of us have earlobes that are “in-between”.
2. Earlobe repair is performed for many reasons.
Sometimes trauma to the ear can create a cleft or tear in the earlobe. This usually occurs when a piercing is pulled on and the earring post is pulled down through the ear. For women who wear heavy earrings, over time the weight of the earrings may pull on the piercing hole until the piercing becomes stretched out. And then there are those of us who purposely stretched out the piercing hole with ear gauges or spacers. Although they are commonly seen around San Diego, those holes become permanently stretched and can only be corrected with reconstructive surgery. A more recent trend in aesthetic ear surgery is earlobe reduction. As we age, certain areas sag more than others – the earlobe tends to elongate and droop out of proportion to the rest of the ear and face. This can be corrected with an earlobe reduction, restoring a normal size and shape to the earlobe following the same principles of the earlobe correction used for traumatic injuries.
3. Earlobe surgery is an in-office procedure and performed under local anesthesia.
For those with ear spacers, Dr. Gallus recommends removing them and allowing the tissue to shrink before proceeding with surgery. Repairing torn earlobes or elongated earlobes can be addressed immediately. The surgery is tailored to your specific earlobes, but in general, after injecting with local anesthetic, the defect is excised and the lobe tissue rearranged to minimize visible scars. Sutures are placed that are removed the following week or allowed to dissolve on their own.
4. Recovery from earlobe surgery is fast.
At Restore SD Plastic Surgery, we recommend no intense physical activity for a week, but you can return to regular activities the next day. The post-operative discomfort can be managed with Tylenol or Motrin. We have you return to the clinic for suture removal a week after surgery. You can re-pierce your ear 6 weeks after surgery.
5. The cost of earlobe reshaping surgery can vary.
Depending on the complexity of the repair and whether both ears are being repaired cost varies. Most patients can expect to pay $600 – $1200. At Restore SD Plastic Surgery, we offer financing options through Care Credit and Alphaeon.
Read more about Ear Lobe Surgery on our procedure page and call us at 858-224-2281 for a complimentary consultation!