Earlobe Repair And Post-Op Care
If you have damaged your earlobes by wearing heavy earrings or stretched them to accommodate gauges, earlobe repair might be a good option for you. Some patients have even torn their earlobes accidentally or even have a remaining scar from a previous piercing. Regardless, earlobe repair is one solution.
How Does Damage Happen?
Let’s go over how damage happens. Earlobe damage can occur from a variety of places. Wearing earrings that are heavy for long periods of time will gradually elongate the lobes, making the piercing location stretch downward. This does not require a piercing to happen. Wearing heavy clip-on earrings can have the same result.
Another common cause is trauma, where an earring has been ripped from the earlobe. This is probably the most common reason for an earlobe repair because it is easy to do. If an earring gets hooked on a sweater or is accidentally grabbed by a child, it can tear through your earlobe, damaging it. In this case, it will be impossible to wear an earring on that earlobe until a repair has been successfully performed.
Finally, the third most common reason for earlobe repair is due to gauge tunnel piercings. This is a fashion statement, but often the earlobes cannot return to their previous shape once the gauges have been removed.
What is Earlobe Repair?
Earlobe repair is a common procedure that can typically be done in a half hour – up to an hour, depending on the individual situation of the patient. The procedure itself is done with the use of a local anesthetic as an outpatient. The process involves suturing the edges of your damaged ear, allowing your earlobe to regain its more natural appearance.
This procedure is always best done by a plastic surgeon to reduce the risk of scarring and to ensure the repair looks as natural as possible.
It is done by removing the inner lining of the elongated earlobe so that the edges have an opportunity to stick back together once sutured. The intensity of this depends on what the damage to the earlobe is. The placement of the sutures is what will determine the final shape of the repaired earlobe.
If an earlobe has recently been torn, it is best to do the repair as soon as possible to make sure that the ear will not heal one way and then have to be reopened to correct. This does happen, however, and is fixable when it does. So, if this is your situation, do not worry.
After the relatively short procedure, you will leave the office with sutures in your earlobe. Some tenderness is to be expected once the anaesthetic has worn off. You might also experience some minor swelling as the skin around the sutures adjusts to the change.
Typically, the area should be kept dry for the first 48 hours following the procedure. This is to give the area a chance to dry and begin healing.
After the first 48 hours, you will want to perform wound care by applying a medicated ointment to the area. You might have different postoperative care recommendations if you have a higher risk at developing keloids.
If you are hoping to re-pierce your ears again in the future, you will need to wait some time before attempting it. It is generally considered safe to do again after 6 months of healing. There is a bigger risk of developing keloid scars, because of the previous damage, but these can be easily corrected with a minor excision.
There are some instances when it is not a good idea to attempt to re-pierce your ears. This depends on how extensive the damage was and what kind of sutures were required to perform the repair effectively. If the doctor has advised you to not pierce the area again, it is important that you heed this advice for your own health. In some cases, you might be able to re-pierce the area if it is done properly. Ask Dr. Pirani about this before going forward.
If you are hoping to return your earlobe back to a more natural appearance, give Dr. Pirani a call today and schedule your consultation.