Earlobe repair describes any of several cosmetic procedures done to repair damaged earlobes. People may undergo earlobe repair if they had an earring torn out of their earlobe or suffered some other injury. They may also undergo earlobe repair to fill in a hole created through gauging, which is a type of body modification. In gauging, people use tapers to deliberately stretch their earlobes to accommodate different types of jewelry.
What Does Earlobe Repair Involve?
The doctor will start by ordering laboratory tests to make sure the patient’s earlobes aren’t infected. If they are, the doctor may have to remove the infected tissue before repairing the earlobe. When repairing the earlobe, the surgeon will have to make sure it matches the other earlobe. The surgeon will also have to consider whether the patient has attached or detached earlobes. Detached earlobes are comparatively large with a hanging part that is not attached to the head. Attached earlobes are smaller and fused to the head; surgeons often find them more difficult to work with.
Several different procedures can be used to repair a torn or pierced earlobe. The operation, however, is typically an outpatient procedure. The doctor will numb the earlobe with a local anesthetic and clean it.
Repairing a split or torn earlobe is relatively straightforward. The doctor will remove a small amount of tissue from the torn earlobe and then stitch the two halves together.
How Does the Surgeon Fill in a Gauge Hole?
Filling in a gauge hole is a bit more complicated. The doctor will advise the patient to remove their piercings at least six weeks before the procedure to allow the earlobe to shrink back part way on its own. If the hole is small, it may actually heal on its own. Generally speaking, a hole larger than six millimeters will require surgery.
The surgeon will use the existing tissue to reconstruct the original shape of the earlobe. In many cases, they will cut the bottom of the earlobe in half and work inwards as they reshape the stretched-out tissue into a normal-looking earlobe. They will then stitch it together.
What Is the Recovery Like?
Most patents will be able to resume their normal activities right after having their earlobes repaired. They will, however, have to keep the earlobe dry for the next 24 to 48 hours. The doctor will give the patient instructions regarding wound care, including the use of ointments or other medications.
To find out whether or not you qualify for earlobe repair, you can visit Worcester Dermatology to speak with our professionals. We are conveniently located in Worcester and Chelmsford. Contact us today to schedule your consultation!