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How To Fix Sagging Earlobes?


Fashion trends come and go but sometimes, their effects may be long lasting and unsightly. The Earlobe Reduction procedure may restore droopy earlobes caused by years of wearing heavy earrings.

earlobe reduction procedure
Model Photo
One of the fashion trends that seems to reappear season after season is dramatic and heavy earrings. Jewel encrusted, feathers, horns, heavy metals - these are but a fraction of the materials used to add some heavy bling to the ears. Or if you're of an even trendier subset, ear gauging to purposefully stretch out the earlobes can sometimes cause holes up to 2 inches in diameter in your ear cartilage. And while we're all for fashion and individuality, these trends have left earlobes misshaped, stretched out and riddled with large holes.

Recently featured on The Doctors, preventative measures that may help reduce the appearance of drooping earlobes include the practical advice of switching out heavier earrings for ones that are made of lighter materials. Another tip is to add extra support by placing a small piece of surgical tape to the back of the earlobes when wearing heavy earrings.

For people who have undergone ear gauging, which is a process in which the earlobes are stretched to accommodate jewelry placed directly into the earlobe, the effects are even more obvious: larger holes and extremely visible scarring. Or if you have been a lifelong wearer of heavy earrings, earlobes may also begin to sag and visible scarring from where the initial piercing has become a longer slit may cause you to think twice about wearing those attention-grabbing earrings.

"Split/torn earlobes or stretched earlobes are a common problem faced by many women. Fortunately, repairing the earlobe is a relatively straightforward office procedure that can be performed in less than an hour," describes Houston Facial Plastic Surgeon Dr. Haresh Yalamanchili, "In certain cases, however, the problem may be that the earlobe has thinned and the earring will not stay in the desired position, but will instead droop downward. In these cases it is often possible to rejuvenate the earlobe by using a dermal filler to plump it up. This creates the support for an earring to remain in the ideal position."

A type of otoplasty or cosmetic ear surgery, the Earlobe Reduction procedure may actually restore earlobes to their previous condition by excising extra flesh. Local anesthetic, typically Novocain, is applied to the earlobe and the section of extra tissue and stretched piercing is removed entirely. The two halves are then reconnected and sewn up with fine sutures. After about a week, there may be a thin white scar but this too will fade over time. Ears may be re-pierced after 6 weeks should patients choose to wear earrings again.
Earlobe Gauging Repair before and after photos
Actual Earlobe Gauging Repair Results of Dr. Haresh Yalamanchili

"With the rise in popularity of gauging earlobes over the past two decades, I have also seen a stark increase in the number of patients requesting a repair of the severely stretched out or deformed earlobes," describes Dr. Yalamanchili, "In many cases, these patients need to enter the corporate world or are seeking some other employment in which the appearance of their ears is unacceptable."

Unlike cases of split earlobes due to wearing heavy earrings, Dr. Yalamanchili says a more complicated surgery is required to restore the earlobe to it's natural shape after ear gauging. Ear gauging may stretch the earlobe out to 2 inches in diameter with the jewelry in and cause severely misshaped earlobes once removed. Dr. Yalamanchili says, "This procedure is more complicated and can take longer than the repair of a split earlobe but it is still performed comfortably in the office. Although there are incisions involved, they typically heal very well without leaving behind to much evidence of the repair."

Depending on which earlobe restoration procedure is required, cost of procedure may vary between $500-$1,500.