Split earlobes are not uncommon in a plastic surgery office, especially for those surgeons who focus on facial procedures. Usually patients complain of one earlobe that has completely split, while some have an earlobe that is nearly torn or splitting.
Patients may have had a history of trauma with sudden pulling or gradual splitting and stretching over time from earrings. Gradually with time, some earlobes may start to split due to the metal and/or weight of the earrings. Before splitting, patients may notice irritation, itching, or inflammation with certain earrings. Earrings with nickel, copper, or mixed metals are more likely to cause a split or enlarged piercing site. Very heavy earrings can stretch the skin too.
Split earlobe repair is similar to gauge earlobe repair, as a minor plastic surgery procedure in the office via local anesthesia. Plastic surgeons refer to these earlobe procedures as split, torn, or stretched earlobe repair surgery.
Split Earlobe Repair
Split earlobe repair is minor plastic surgery performed in the office via local anesthesia. Some earlobe skin is removed and earlobe completely closed with stitches. Scar tissue may also trimmed or reduced.
The procedure takes about a few minutes. Recovery is characterized as simple by many patients. Bandages are typically not required, and patients often don’t need medications after repair.
For those patient who have gauge earlobes, then plastic surgeons will suggest waiting at least a few months to allow the gauge earlobe to shrink down as much as possible on its own before proceeding with earlobe repair.
Nonsurgical Earlobe Repair
Nonsurgical options may not be practical for complete splits, gauge earlobes, or significantly enlarged piercing sites. Some dermatologists or plastic surgeons will plump up the ear lobe with fillers, to add volume and strength. Facial fillers, such as Juvederm® and Restylane®, are made of hyaluronic acid and are commonly used to rejuvenate the face, such as cheek augmentation or lip enhancement. Facial filler injections have been used in the earlobe for nonsurgical earlobe repair. This is a relatively newer technique of facial filler injections.
Patients who have a slightly larger piercing, but not significantly stretched or split, may also consider a chemical peel. The peel can be applied to the piercing site to stimulate gradual closure or shrinkage of the hole.
Split Earlobe Cost
Cost with plastic surgery will vary based on many factors. Typically, office procedures via local anesthesia are less expensive than procedures performed at a surgical facility or hospital. Earlobe repair ranges broadly from estimated $800 to $2500. Read more about plastic surgery prices and fees on our website.
Repiercing after Earlobe Repair
Once the ear is adequately healed, the ear may be re-pierced. Some plastic surgeons will allow clip-on earrings after a few months, while repiercing may be allowed after six months. As always, speak with your plastic surgeon and follow his/her care instructions.
Have you consider earlobe procedure? Contact the office and schedule a consultation.