Earlobe surgery is performed to repair ear lobes that have been torn by earrings or trauma, or that have been stretched through the body piercing practice known as gauging. An earlobe is made up of skin and fat. There are no bones nor cartilage, which is why an earlobe is more prone to tearing or stretching than other parts of the ear, which are composed of cartilage.
The ear lobe can be torn by heavy and large earrings. Tears can also occur if earlobes are accidentally caught in clothing or yanked by children. In these cases, the tear may stretch out the original piercing tract and sometimes even continue through the bottom of the earlobe resulting in a split lobe.
Stretched earlobes are the result of intentional stretch through the use of progressively larger gauges, a practice also known as “tribal” ear piercing or “flesh tunnel”. Tribal ear piercing is performed by gradually increasing the diameter of the piercing in the earlobe with progressively increased diameter rings. When an earlobe is stretched to more than 8 mm it is unlikely that the hole will contract to its original size. Regardless of the cause of stretching, earlobe surgery can easily repair the lobe.
What to Expect
The process starts with a consultation to evaluate your ear injury and discuss your goals and expectations. The procedure and technique best suited for you will be explained. Your treatment will depend on the extent of your injury.