Most people are familiar with the ways in which aging can affect their skin and face, but many patients do not consider how the earlobes can age in conjunction with the rest of their features. Over time, the earlobes may sag, appear wrinkled, or even suffer a tear due to years of earring use. You may even experience significant stretching of the earlobes due to a previous history of gauging. Dr. Joe Gryskiewicz is well-versed in the most effective techniques to repair torn, stretched, split, or bifid earlobes and can evaluate your concerns to restore a proportional and natural-looking ear shape.
What is Earlobe Repair Surgery?
Earlobe repair surgery refers to a procedure designed to reconstruct or reduce the earlobes. Composed solely of skin and fat, the earlobes do not have an underlying framework of bone or cartilage to support their structure. Consequently, the earlobes are susceptible to stretching and sagging, as well as tearing and splitting. In general, elongated earlobes may be caused by a loss of collagen and elastin as you age, repeated use of heavy earrings, or an injury in which your earlobes are pulled. Whether your earlobes are affected by a congenital deformity (from birth) or have changed shape over time, earlobe repair surgery can correct virtually any cosmetic concern in the lower ear. Also known as “earlobe rejuvenation,” earlobe repair can typically be performed in a simple, in-office procedure under local anesthesia.
What Conditions Can Earlobe Repair Correct?
As a facial plastic surgery procedure, earlobe repair is versatile enough to address issues in the earlobe itself or stretched piercing holes caused by gauges or heavy earrings. This procedure can also correct a bifid earlobe or “cleft,” which can occur at birth or due to an injury. Among the conditions most commonly treated with earlobe repair are:
- Stretched or sagging earlobes
- Torn or split earlobes
- Bifid earlobe
- Birth defects
- Elongated piercing holes
*Individual Results May Vary
If you would like to improve the appearance of your earlobes, your cosmetic surgeon can resolve your concerns with earlobe repair. This surgery is considered very straightforward and predictable, often having the benefit of a short recovery period compared to other cosmetic surgeries.
How is Earlobe Repair Surgery Performed?
Earlobe repair is often performed in-office at Gryskiewicz Twin Cities Cosmetic Surgery under local anesthesia. For some issues — such as a split, bifid, or stretched earlobe — a consultation is not necessary. Patients simply submit photo(s) of their concern and arrive at their scheduled appointment time. However, a 30-minute consultation and 45-minute procedure is typically expected in cases of earlobe reduction.
The procedure generally takes 30 minutes, and patients can return home on the same day as their surgery. Depending on the nature of your concerns, your plastic surgeon will make discreet incisions around the lobe to remove stretched, excess tissue and/or correct a tear. If your ears are severely stretched, a wedge of tissue will be removed from the bottom region to reconstruct the earlobe shape. Sutures are then used to reattach the lobe and achieve a more proportionate appearance. Your ears will then be wrapped and bandaged, with sutures removed after seven days. It can take approximately four to six weeks for the ears to fully heal after the procedure. Dr. Gryskiewicz will go over the exact details of your earlobe repair with you so you understand what to expect during surgery. If desired, our practice also offers a free ear piercing six weeks after your procedure.
*Individual Results May Vary
Earlobe Reduction For Aging Earlobes
If you are bothered by drooping, overly large, or pendulous earlobes, earlobe reduction surgery can be an excellent solution to restore a more balanced and proportional look. The soft tissue of the lower ears is prone to stretching over time, and factors like sun damage and large earrings can further elongate the earlobes. In order to improve aging earlobes and reduce the ear shape, Dr. Gryskiewicz can utilize the “wedge” technique, which removes a small triangle of tissue from the lower ear. The earlobe is then brought back together with sutures, providing a virtually immediate improvement. The entire treatment is performed in-office under local anesthesia and takes approximately one hour. Patients can expect little (if any) recovery, and normal activities are resumed immediately. Exercise and other strenuous activities should be avoided for at least two days due to potential swelling.
*Individual Results May Vary
How Much Does Earlobe Repair Surgery Cost?
Although an exact price cannot be gauged until Dr. Gryskiewicz meets with you in a consultation, the cost of repairing a split or bifid, or stretched earlobe is approximately $750 per ear with a $300 tray fee in Minneapolis. For an earlobe reduction or stretched earlobe, the price is generally $2,500 with a $300 tray fee. Factors unique to your treatment plan will influence the total cost, and our team will provide you with a personalized quote during your appointment. Our practice accepts plastic surgery financing via CareCredit® or ALPHAEON™ Credit for qualified patients who would rather pay for their surgery over time in smaller installments. Our team would be happy to answer any other questions you have about the cost of earlobe repair, or our payment options.
Questions? Dr. Gryskiewicz is ready to discuss your concerns and create a unique treatment plan designed to correct your ear shape. Please contact our Minneapolis office to speak with a member of our team, or to schedule your consultation.