Stretched or split earlobes are very common. They can look unsightly and saggy and patients are concerned and self-conscious about the appearance.
The earlobe problem most commonly develops over a long period of time as a result of wearing heavy earrings. The weight of earrings gradually stretches the earlobe so that the small piercing becomes an elongated slit rather than a neatly pierced hole. What’s more, the surrounding flesh becomes loose and enlarged.
More recently, the trend to intentionally stretching the earlobes with gauges, spacers, flesh tunnels and tribal ear piercing jewellery has enabled people to create enlarged earlobe holes. Unfortunately, many patients do later on ‘change their mind’ about having stretched earlobes, perhaps when a more conventional look is required for professional purposes.
In extreme cases, the stretched ear piercing can eventually tear right through, creating a fully split earlobe. In other cases, it could be an accident in which the earring gets pulled, causing a split.
Whatever the cause, there is a treatment for enlarged earlobe holes or split earlobes.
Earlobe repair is a minor surgery procedure which can effectively close or reduce extended earlobe holes or split earlobes to reshape the earlobes for a neater and more aesthetically pleasing look.
After numbing the area with local anaesthetic, the surgeon will make an incision in the earlobe and then remove the edges of the slit and carefully stitch them together to repair the affected area.
Where possible, stitches will be on the reverse of the ear and attention will be given to minimising scarring.
Costs & Prices
Price for earlobe repair surgery are totally inclusive of local anaesthetic, dressings and any follow-up required.
- The price of earlobe repair surgery is quoted individually, as requirements do vary widely. Prices above are only provided as a guide to the costs. The exact price can only be determined once the doctor has examined the patient in person. Larger and more complex earlobe holes/splits are likely to incur a higher fee.
- Patients are invited to send a photo of the earlobe to firstname.lastname@example.org or individual advice. This does not replace a consultation, but can be helpful as an initial assessment.
A consultation with one of our experienced doctors is £50.
Prices for treatments carried out in the same appointment as the consultation will include the £50 consultation fee (note: same day procedures are only undertaken where the procedure is deemed appropriate to do so AND the patient understands the full extent of the costs, risks and potential side effects and is consenting to proceed on that knowledge).
Call today for latest availability and last minute appointments 020 7386 0464.
This procedure is suitable for a variety of earlobe problems:
- Stretched or elongated piercings
- Split ear
- Saggy, droopy earlobes
- Torn earlobe (e.g. from wearing earrings while playing sport)
- Removal of excess/multiple/unwanted piercings
- Tribal ear piercings
- Flesh tunnels
Step by Step Earlobe Reconstruction
Firstly, the doctor/surgeon will carry out a full consultation and examination of the earlobe to understand the nature of the damage and provide information about the treatment options.
Assuming both the doctor and patient wish to go ahead, the minor surgical procedure can usually be undertaken same day in clinic.
The procedure involves:
- Local anaesthetic is delivered by injection
- The edges of the split are removed
- The doctor/surgeon carefully stitches the edges together to repair the earlobe. Stitching is done from the reverse of the ear where possible for a better aesthetic result
- Removable stitches are normally taken out after a week
What techniques are used for this procedure?
Earlobe reshaping is a minor surgical procedure. It is carried out on a ‘day case’ basis in our clinics and generally takes no more than an hour, including the consultation.
The surgeon will use a scalpel to expose and remove the stretched flesh inside the hole or split. The fleshy part of the earlobe will then be drawn together and secured with stitches to hold it in the right place while the flesh heals.
Does it hurt?
No, we use local anaesthetic to ensure that the procedure is pain-free.
After the local anaesthetic wears off, you may wish to take painkillers for the rest of the day. By the next day, any discomfort has normally passed.
What about healing?
Initial healing takes a couple of weeks. During this time, you may experience itching, but should not expect any further bleeding after the first day, unless the area is accidentally knocked.
Will there be a scar?
As part of our aftercare we recommend the use of Kelo-cote UV silicon scar gel that is clinically proven to reduce scarring and protects the healing wound from sunlight.
Rarely, some people with very dark or light skin have an abnormal response to healing and end up with larger scars than usual (hypertrophic or keloid scars). We will assess and discuss this at consultation prior to treatment.
What are the risks of earlobe reconstruction?
With any cosmetic plastic surgery procedure there are potential side-effects in terms of infection, bleeding and scarring. At Cosmedics our doctors who are experts in dermatological surgery will ensure the highest standards of care and will also provide you with aftercare instructions to minimise the risks.
When can I wear earrings again?
We do not recommend wearing earrings for at least 6 months after surgery to help prevent recurrence. Note:
- The ear is likely to need repiercing. This should not be done for at least 6 months
- Heavy earrings must be avoided permanently so that the problem does not recur
- Wear small, light, hypoallergenic earrings for the first 2 weeks
- Your ears may completely heal over and require re-piercing
Which clinics that perform this procedure?
How long does it take?
Our experienced doctors/surgeons can repair a split earlobe very quickly. The procedure is normally expected take under an hour including the initial consultation.
What aftercare is provided?
We don’t normally need to see a patient again after this procedure unless for removal of stitches. This will be fully explained in consultation prior to treatment.
Patients are encouraged to contact us in case of any concerns or queries and we will ensure they are dealt with quickly.
We normally advise the following general aftercare, unless the doctor/surgeon gives any different instructions, which should take precedent:
- Keep the wound dry for 2 days
- Leave any dressings for up to a week
- You will be informed as to whether your stitches are dissolvable or need to be removed
- Steri-strips can be applied over the wound for up to 3 weeks to help the wound heal
- After 3 weeks the wound can be massaged with silicon scar gel
- If there is any increasing pain or redness consult your doctor as it could be a sign of infection
Please feel free to contact us in case of any queries.
Massaging the wound
As part of our aftercare we recommend massaging the wound with Kelo-cote UV silicon scar gel.
This product protects the healing wound from sunlight.
A regular massage with Kelo-cots® is clinically proven to reduce scarring.