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Earlobe Surgery

Earlobe surgery can be categorized as earlobe reduction or earlobe repair. Sometimes both procedures are performed simultaneously.

Earlobe reduction is useful in patients that have started to experience sagging and enlarged earlobes as a result of aging and/or the result of wearing heavy earrings over time. Many times, patients that are having a concurrent facelift request that an earlobe reduction be performed simultaneously. This is common and safe to do.

Earlobe repair is useful in patients that have torn or stretched their earring opening as a result of trauma or stretching.

Dr. Velargo is an expert at both techniques and has performed numerous successful earlobe operations.

What can an earlobe surgery accomplish?

An earlobe surgery can correct:

  • Torn earlobes
  • Sagging earlobes
  • Large earlobes
  • Stretched piercing holes
  • Disfigured earlobes

What happens during an earlobe surgery?

Earlobe surgery is most commonly performed under local anesthesia in Dr. Velargo’s clinic procedure room. However, if it is being performed as part of a facelift procedure, the level of anesthesia may vary.

Dr. Velargo will carefully listen to your concerns and work with you to devise the best surgical plan to meet your expectations.

In cases of earlobe reduction, excess tissue is removed from the earlobes, including a reduction of earring holes, if necessary, and the tissue is sutured into the new size and shape. Dr. Velargo uses a technique, which avoids any obvious scars once the incisions heal.

In cases of earlobe repair, the old piercing site is removed and closed. Dr. Velargo, again, uses a technique, which avoids any obvious scars once the incision is healed.

The goal, whenever possible, is to create a more youthful and natural-looking earlobe that can support earrings again after the healing process.

What can I expect during recovery from an earlobe surgery?

When performed as a solo procedure, patients may usually resume their normal activities the same day. Some swelling will be present, but pain is generally minimal. Dr. Velargo usually tapes the incision; however, when the tape falls off, the incisions should be cared for with hydrogen peroxide and antibiotic ointment three times daily. All sutures are generally removed between 5-7 days after the procedure.

Dr. Velargo re-pierces the ears as part of the procedure (no added fee) at approximately 6 weeks following the surgery in order to give adequate healing time for earring support. You will need to bring in gold (minimum of 14 k) or platinum studs for the re-piercing to minimize the chance of a skin reaction. Dr. Velargo will mark the new piercing sites with you to ensure symmetry and that the desired location is achieved.

Does insurance cover earlobe surgery?

Earlobe surgery is considered a cosmetic procedure. Therefore, insurance companies do not generally cover the cost of surgery.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT EARLOBE SURGERY

Will there be any downtime for recovery?

No. You can go right back to work after surgery and resume most of your normal activities. You’ll experience some swelling, and the stitches or tape will be visible, but these can usually be concealed by your hair or a head scarf if you are self-conscious. You’ll be instructed to avoid strenuous activity for the first 48 hours after surgery.

What should I do to promote healing after my earlobe surgery?

You’ll want to avoid scrubbing your ears when you shower, but it’s not necessary to keep your ears dry. You should avoid bathing or swimming in standing water — a bathtub, pool, or lake — to reduce the risk of infection. It can also help to sleep with an extra pillow to keep your head elevated for the first few nights after your surgery, but this isn’t a requirement.

How long does the procedure take?

Earlobe reduction or repair typically takes between 20 minutes and an hour. More time is required for extensive correction, less for a simple repair.

What if my earlobe has split?

If your earlobe has split, as can happen when an earring is pulled hard, you’ll need to wait for the wound to heal before having surgery to repair the lobe. A partial tear can be repaired right away.

Is earlobe surgery for both men and women?

Yes. While more women than men need earlobe repair, tears and stretching from earrings can happen to anyone with pierced ears. Earlobe reduction is popular with both men and women.

Does insurance cover earlobe surgery?

Earlobe surgery is considered a cosmetic procedure. Therefore, insurance companies do not generally cover the cost of surgery.

Contact the New Orleans Center for Aesthetics and Plastic Surgery today to find out more about expert earlobe surgery.