Earlobe Repair

Board-Certified Plastic Surgeons Serving Denver & Lone Tree, Colorado

Earlobe repair is a common type of ear surgery with a high patient satisfaction rate. It’s typically performed to correct damage caused by injury or torn-out earrings. It can also restore the normal contour of gauged earlobes.

Fortunately, earlobe repair is a simple cosmetic procedure. It’s usually over in less than an hour and requires no downtime.

Learn if you are a candidate for earlobe repair during a complimentary cosmetic consultation with our board-certified plastic surgeons. Call 303-706-1100 today to schedule your visit. Park Meadows Cosmetic Surgery proudly serves Denver, Lone Tree, and the surrounding areas of Colorado.

Who Is A Good Candidate for Earlobe Surgery?

Ideal candidates for earlobe surgery have:

  • Slightly enlarged piercings that are too big to hold a standard stud
  • Stretched earlobes from large gauge plug and tunnel jewelry
  • Stretched earlobes from age or wearing heavy earrings
  • A torn or split earlobe, commonly caused by ripped-out earrings

Even small earlobe imperfections can feel like a big problem. That’s why patients often report improved self-image after surgery. Some gain the confidence to wear pulled-back hairstyles for the first time in years.

How Does The Earlobe Repair Procedure Work?

Young calm woman pointing to her ear Earlobe repair is a relatively simple and quick procedure. In nearly all cases, our surgeons perform it using local anesthesia.

Local anesthesia is beneficial for several reasons. It allows patients to see their results and provide feedback before the surgery is over. And unlike patients who receive general anesthesia, patients who receive local anesthesia can drive themselves home.

The exact steps needed to close the stretch or tear can vary. Our surgeons typically create a small notch in the affected earlobe, removing excess tissue if necessary. Then, they meticulously suture the earlobe back together to restore an optimal appearance.

The procedure typically lasts between 45 minutes and 1 hour. Your surgical timing will depend on if you are having one or both ears done, and the extent of your concern.

What Is Recovery Like After Earlobe Surgery?

Earlobe surgery requires minimal recovery. It’s normal to feel a mild throbbing sensation after the anesthesia wears off. This sensation can easily be controlled with over the counter pain medicine. Some patients may require a light narcotic for the day, though this is uncommon.

You won’t need to wear any special dressings after your procedure. However, our surgeons choose not to use absorbable sutures for earlobe repair. Nonabsorbable sutures help minimize scarring. They also allow our surgeons to check your progress when you return to have them removed.

View our earlobe surgery post-op guidelines.

What Are the Benefits of Earlobe Repair?

Earlobe surgery offers a variety of benefits that could make it a great fit for you. If your jewelry options are limited because of an enlarged piercing or tear, earlobe surgery is the first step towards wearing your favorite earrings again. It can also give you the confidence to pull your hair back or go for a shorter cut if you feel self-conscious about the way your ears look.

Earlobe surgery provides immediate results that improve as the area heals. There may be some scarring, but in most cases it’s faint and nearly undetectable. The results of earlobe repair are permanent, though the procedure does not stop age-related aesthetic changes. You can prevent future tears by choosing to wear lightweight studs over heavy dangle earrings.  If you do wear large earrings, be sure to remove them in situations where they are likely to catch on something. Also, remove large earrings around children who may be tempted to pull on them.

View photos of this procedure in our before and after earlobe repair gallery.

Additional Earlobe Surgery FAQs

What Are the Most Common Causes of Torn or Damaged Earlobes?

Woman's ear with a gold hoop earring inMost earlobe damage happens gradually due to heavy or large earrings. It tends to occur more frequently among people who intentionally gauge their earlobes to accommodate plugs and tunnels. 

If you have suffered gradual earlobe damage, you may find that your concerns are getting worse over time. That is because factors such as age and gravity are working against you.

In some cases, torn or damaged earlobes are the result of  trauma. Accidents can easily cause splits and other injuries to the earlobe. If an earring gets caught on something, pulled, or tugged, it may result in a tear that can likely be fixed with surgery.

When Can I Return To Normal Activity After Earlobe Repair Surgery?

You should be able to return to work or school immediately after earlobe repair surgery. There is little to no downtime involved with this procedure. However, you might experience some temporary tenderness, redness, and bruising. 

Earlobe surgery comes with some activity restrictions to support proper healing and good cosmetic results. For example, you will need to avoid strenuous exercise and heavy lifting for four weeks. You will not be able to submerge your ear in a bathtub, pool, or hot tub for four to six weeks. Contact our surgeons if you have any questions about recovering from earlobe surgery.

Will a split or stretched earlobe repair itself?

In most cases, damaged ears do not heal sufficiently without surgical intervention. They can even become infected in the absence of appropriate care.

 If you have gauged earlobes, removing your plug or tunnel jewelry will help stop the stretching. Some people can reduce the size of their earlobe by going down in gauge sizes, but many require earlobe surgery to achieve a satisfactory result.

Will I Have Scarring After Earlobe Surgery?

Earlobe surgery does leave a small scar. If your earlobe was severely damaged or you are getting surgery to correct multiple torn piercings, then you may have more than one scar. 

Fortunately, it is difficult to detect most earlobe surgery scars after they have healed. Our surgeons use non-absorbable sutures to further minimize scarring. You can help the incision lines fade even more by avoiding unprotected sun exposure for six months after surgery.

Most patients agree that tightening and repairing their earlobes is worth the tradeoff of having a scar. Talk to our surgeons about the results that you may be able to expect. 

Is It Possible For a Repaired Earlobe To Tear Again?

A repaired earlobe can tear again due to trauma or wearing heavy earrings regularly. You can prevent a future tear by waiting two to six months after surgery before piercing your ears again. 

You should get your new piercing above or to the side of your scar to lower your risk of splitting your earlobe. It is also a good idea to stay away from heavy jewelry. The same goes for dangling pieces that can be pulled or get caught on your clothing.

Can I get my ear pierced again after earlobe repair?

Woman wearing earring after earlobe repair in DenverYou can get a stretched or torn earlobe re-pierced after earlobe repair surgery with a few limitations. You will need to wait six to eight weeks after your procedure to ensure proper healing. Additionally, our surgeons strongly advise you not to get your ear pierced in the same spot as before.

The scar tissue at the surgical site is not as strong as normal skin. It’s in your best interest to have your ear re-pierced slightly outside of that area.

How much does earlobe repair cost?

The cost of your earlobe repair procedure will depend on several factors. These factors include whether you wish to have surgery on one or both ears.

Insurance typically does not cover this procedure as it is considered elective. You can receive an individualized cost estimate by scheduling a consultation at our practice.

Schedule Your Denver Earlobe Repair Consultation

Earlobe repair is a quick and relatively painless procedure that can significantly improve various cosmetic concerns. Learn if this surgery is right for you by scheduling a complimentary cosmetic consultation at 303-706-1100. Park Meadows Cosmetic Surgery serves Denver, Lone Tree, and nearby areas of Colorado.