Earlobe repair surgery and earlobe lift procedures are treatments designed to correct concerns affecting the tissue of the earlobes that may be compromising their appearance. Earlobes affected by stretched skin, tears, large holes, and other types of damage can often be successfully repaired with earlobe surgery. This treatment can be particularly beneficial in cases where long-term use of earrings or ear gauges has had an effect on earlobe aesthetics.
Dr. James F. Boynton also specializes in in-office facelifts and he discovered many years ago that the earlobe was an often forgotten-about aesthetic part of the face. The earlobe sags over time and ages like other aspects of the face, jowls, and cheeks. Many times after having a facelift performed, patients will notice their earlobes are not quite “in sync” with their new cheek/jawline. Dr. Boynton invented his version of an “earlobe lift” that can reduce horizontal and vertical laxity in the earlobe itself with a small, hidden incision line and bring it back into balance with the jawline and face. In many cases, the reason earlobe “tracts” stretch over time is the laxity and volume loss of the earlobe. That is what is “lifted and tightened” as part of Dr. Boynton’s procedure. As Dr. Boynton became an earlobe expert over the years, more and more challenging cases would be presented, including many patients with large gauge holes in their ears. Whatever the cause, our board-certified plastic surgeon in Houston has a specialized technique that can be performed right here in the office, with only numbing medication, in about 20 minutes or less for many patients.
What Conditions Can Be Corrected With Earlobe Repair Surgery?
Earlobe repair surgery can be performed to improve a wide variety of conditions that affect the earlobes, including:
- Sagging, stretched, elongated tissue
- Large holes in the earlobes
- Tears and splits in the earlobes
Wearing heavy earrings for many years can cause the earlobe to droop and stretch, and it can pull the “hole” downward, causing the hole to stretch further and even split. This is a very common condition that many individuals seek to have corrected. Sometimes, it can be caused by a child pulling on the earring, heavy phone usage on that side, or basically anything catching on the earring that causes trauma.
Additionally, there has been some popularity in “gauge earrings” among both women and men over the last decade, whereby a plug insert is placed and the earlobe hole is progressively stretched to quite large sizes in some cases. Dr. Boynton has seen a number of patients who previously wore “gauged earrings” and later wish for reconstruction. As one might imagine, the hole that is left can be very large after they stop wearing the ear gauge and it requires a bit more work to reconstruct. These patients have decided to no longer wear the earrings and desire improvement in their appearance. For these individuals, Dr. Boynton usually performs a wedge reduction/earlobe lift and repair in order to reconstruct the earlobe and create an improved appearance.
During your initial consultation, Dr. Boynton will evaluate the condition of your ears and talk with you about treatment options that may be ideal for your needs. If you are a good candidate for earlobe repair surgery, Dr. Boynton will develop a personalized treatment plan designed to help you achieve your goals with exceptional results.
Earlobe Repair for Aging Earlobes
The earlobe in particular ages with the face, as all of us age, and becomes more ptotic or “droopy” in men and women. This especially occurs as we get into our 50s-60s. Sometimes, patients need an earlobe “lift” or even reduction in size to recreate the youthful shape and appearance of the earlobe. In some cases, Dr. Boynton does an earlobe lift and/or reduction in conjunction with the repair. Other times, especially in conjunction with a facelift and neck lift, the earlobe is often lifted or rejuvenated in order to improve its appearance.
How Is the Earlobe Repair Procedure Performed?
The particulars of the procedure will ultimately depend on the unique concerns being addressed. The treatment is always performed in the office without the need for general anesthesia and takes only 30-40 min (both sides) or 20 min for one side. This can make the treatment process much more convenient for our patients, and the use of local anesthesia can ultimately reduce some of the risks associated with surgery.
In many cases, patients elect to have earring “holes” or other conditions fixed in both ears. In others, only one ear may need to be addressed. If the earlobe is torn completely, the tissues are repaired using very fine sutures. Again, earlobe repair surgery rarely takes longer than 20-40 minutes to complete here at our office, depending on the complexity and extent of treatment necessary.
What Can Be Expected During Earlobe Repair Recovery?
Following surgery, a simple tape is placed over the earlobe for a week. Some swelling can be expected for several days following earlobe repair surgery; however, most patients do not experience excessive discomfort as the treatment areas heal. Dr. Boynton follows up with each patient through their recovery, which is often quite fast, and then “re-pierces” the earlobe, if desired. This usually takes place about six weeks after the procedure. Patients are typically advised to refrain from wearing heavy or large earrings so the outcome can be maintained long into the future.
The results for so many of our patients are excellent. There is a small risk of recurrence (less than 10% of the time), and if this happens, it is something that can usually be repaired again in the office. Many times, it is a product of the tissues and the factors that caused the stretching in the first place, especially if patients continue to wear earrings that are large and heavy.
How Much Does Earlobe Repair Cost?
Here at Boynton Plastic Surgery, earlobe repair procedures typically fall in the $1,500 – $2,000 range. The cost of ear repair treatment varies among patients depending on the extent of treatment necessary, the technique utilized, and other factors. A member of Dr. Boynton’s team will produce a total price estimate of the procedure once your customized treatment plan is developed during the initial consultation. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have about our accepted methods of payment, and we can also discuss plastic surgery financing options that can help qualified applicants pay for their ear repair procedure on a convenient monthly basis.