Did you ever think that stretched earlobes could be a sign of aging? Sure enough, just as gravity takes its toll during the aging process on the neck, cheeks, etc., it also affects the earlobes. As people age, the earlobes lose fat and enlarge/expand, making them look long, “floppy” and older. On top of this natural occurrence, years of wearing heavy earrings or ear gauges can stretch out the earlobes, making them look even longer.
A solution to this “floppy” condition is the earlobe reduction procedure, performed to repair the shape and appearance of the earlobes to make them look shorter or smaller, therefore younger. During the procedure, a plastic surgeon makes an incision within the earlobe to remove excess tissue and reduce it to an appropriate size. The earlobe is then closed with absorbable stitches.
Depending on the degree to which the earlobes are stretched, the surgeon may need to make a variety of possible incisions, to ensure that the earlobe heals in the best possible manner without distortion.
Patients can undergo an earlobe reduction in the comfort of a plastic surgeon’s office. A local anesthetic is used to numb the area, and patients don’t feel anything during the procedure. An earlobe reduction usually takes less than one hour to perform.
After the procedure, patients can drive home immediately. Following an earlobe reduction, there is minimal to no pain, which can be alleviated with Extra Strength Patients can go back to their regular daily activities right away.
It may take a few weeks for the earlobe to heal completely. During this time, it should be kept clean. While a very small scar may initially be visible at the point of incision, it usually disappears over time. Surgeons typically make the incision in an area that will make it unnoticeable.
Another earlobe repair procedure is split earlobe repair, which corrects a split caused by trauma associated with wearing earrings. Also performed under a local anesthetic in a plastic surgeon’s office, the procedure involves freshening the edges of the split earlobe and meticulously layering the wound closure to recreate a continuous earlobe. It takes less than one hour to perform.
As with the earlobe reduction, patients who undergo split earlobe repair can drive home immediately after the procedure, and relieve minimal pain with Extra Strength Tylenol. They can resume regular activities right away. The ear can be re-pierced after four weeks.
Remember, as with any plastic surgery procedure, it’s very important to work with a highly qualified, board certified facial plastic surgeon when undergoing an earlobe reduction or split earlobe repair.