Your earlobes are vulnerable to stretching, tearing, and keloid scarring once you pierce your ears. The tears found near your earlobes often split due to trauma and end up being very visible. When one pulls earrings through the piercing hole, split earlobes can occur. This condition can also happen if you have tight clip-on earrings which can constrict blood flow to the earlobes. Necrosis on one part of the earlobe may be a result of this restriction which leads to split earlobes.
Widened piercing holes may also occur on your ears. Wearing heavy earrings that slowly enlarge these holes or pulling studs on your ear that did not go through the hole can lead to this condition. Patients with thin earlobes are at risk of experiencing enlarged piercing holes.
Fortunately, you can reverse any of these conditions by undergoing earlobe repair surgery. Let’s take a look at the procedure itself and what you can expect from it.
What is Earlobe Repair?
Earlobe repair is a reconstructive procedure that physicians perform to fix a torn or stretched appearance of an earlobe. This procedure is vital for split earlobes, enlarged piercing holes, or stretched piercing correction. The procedure lets you wear earrings again after a full recovery since it repairs the splits.
Physicians such as plastic surgeons, EENT specialists, and dermatologic surgeons can perform these earlobe repair procedures on patients.
What Can You Expect from Undergoing this Surgical Procedure?
Plastic surgeons generally perform stretched earlobe repair as an out-patient procedure. A patient also goes through this surgery under a local anesthetic. However, surgeons can perform earlobe repair under general anesthesia if the patient undergoing surgery is a child.
The procedure is relatively simple and straightforward: The surgeon will cover the patient’s earlobes after making the standard preparations. Then, they will extract a small area of healthy tissue surrounding the individual’s split earlobe. This particular task restores the edges of the wound.
After tissue excision, the surgeon will then reapproximate both ends of the patient’s ears and stitch their earlobe’s anterior and posterior sides back together. In some instances, the physician might need to create flaps on more massive deformities. They will then apply wound dressing after the procedure.
It is also essential to remember that possible complications can occur during earlobe repair surgery. These complications may include the following:
- Depression or notching
Different potential risks can also come with the procedure such as hematoma (blood clot) formation and tissue necrosis.
How Long Does it Take to Recover from Split Earlobe Repair?
It generally takes an individual between six to eight weeks to fully recover from earlobe repair. Patients will experience a minimal amount of pain and swelling after undergoing surgery. The final result will also begin to become noticeable during this recovery period. This improvement and minimal recovery time make patients able to return to their everyday activities once fully healed.
Patients must refrain from putting too much pressure on their ear after their split earlobe repair. They should also keep the wound dry for 24-48 hours. At this time, surgeons will instruct them to use appropriate wound care techniques. These techniques may include preventing infection or hypertrophic scar and keloid formation by applying an antibiotic ointment or using silicone sheets on the area.
Surgeons may also prescribe patients with oral pain medications after surgery. These medications help tackle postoperative pain. The surgeons will also remove sutures on the patient’s next visit which takes place five to seven days after the surgery.
For proper wound healing, patients should refrain from wearing earrings for about two to three months. They should also wear small earrings first to keep the issue from recurring.
What Results Can You Expect?
Once you decide to undergo earlobe repair, it is essential to choose a surgeon who is competent enough to perform the surgery since his or her skill will significantly affect the final result of the procedure. Ear lobe surgery procedures must always be performed thoroughly by your surgeon despite being simple. A meticulous repair will make your earlobe appear as close to normal as possible without encountering potential complications.
Furthermore, you should discuss realistic expectations with your surgeon prior to undergoing the procedure. You should also inform them of your medical history or if you have any significant keloids or scars. It is vital to tell your surgeon about your choice of still wear earrings after the procedure as well. Additionally, your decision to re-pierce your ears after undergoing split earlobe repair will depend on how your surgeon performed the surgery.
You can expect your surgeon to fix your torn earlobe during an earlobe repair procedure. You will also get a scar post-surgery, but it would be rather small and unnoticeable. However, do keep in mind that you will have a higher risk of getting prominent scars after the procedure. This situation applies if you have a personal or family history of developing large and bulky scars.