Earlobe Reconstruction (Earlobe Repair)

A variety of problems may require reconstructive surgery of the earlobes. Earlobe abnormalities may result from hereditary abnormalities, traumatic events, surgical procedures (i.e., skin cancer treatment) or earlobe changes due to body art. The reconstructive approaches to most of these problems differ and depend on the specific needs of the patient. Often, a creative and artistic eye is helpful in planning these delicate earlobe procedures.

Torn Or Split Earlobes

The earlobes are the lower part of the ears and are made of soft skin and a small amount of fatty tissue. Earlobes come in a variety of different sizes, shapes and forms. The earlobes provide and complete the normal appearance to the ears and serve as an important area for displaying jewelry across all cultures. This can range from little studs and hoops to heavier earrings or different types of piercings.

How Do Ear Lobe Tears Occur?

Long time use of heavy ear-rings or accidental pulling of and ear ring can lead to a partial or complete tear of the lobe. This split may be unattractive and renders the earlobe unusable for most jewelry.

How Can Split Earlobes Be Corrected?

Most torn earlobes can be effectively and safely corrected using delicate surgical repair techniques. The procedure is routinely performed under local anesthesia as an out-patient. In order to rebuild the earlobe, the healed and scarred aspects of the tear require removal. Repair is then performed in a straight line or in a zigzag. We find that partial tears can be easily repaired in a straight line, but we prefer the Z-plasty technique for complete tears. Not only will this restore the normal look to the lobe, but it will make it stronger and less likely to tear in the future. Small amounts of antibiotic ointment are applied at home for a few days ensuring cleanliness. The earlobe heals beautifully and the scars are barely visible.

Can The Ear Be Pierced Again?

Yes. Dr. Gantous will advise when it is safe to do so, but it is usually about two months after the repair. It is important to prevent recurrent earlobe damage. Dr. Gantous recommends being careful with larger ear jewelry and loops around children.