Elongated ear piercing holes or split earlobes can happen after years of wearing heavy earrings or can be the result of an accident. Some people develop these for unknown reasons. Once the earlobe hole is elongated, it can be hard to cover up with hair or clothing, and earrings are difficult, if not impossible to wear. Earlobe repair is an in-office procedure, and most patients are able to re-pierce their ears again afterwards.
How is the procedure done?
The earlobe repair procedure is performed in our office with local anesthesia. Most earlobe repair methods will remove the skin that lines the tear or slit to create a raw edge to rebuild. Depending on the nature of the tear or split, the reconstruction can be performed in different ways. Dr. Enzer will use the surgical technique best suited to your needs.
How long does the procedure take?
The procedure takes 30 to 50 minutes per earlobe, depending on the degree of earlobe damage.
What can I expect after the procedure?
Most patients tolerate the earlobe repair procedure without significant discomfort, and if there is any pain afterward it can be treated with Tylenol. There will be a few small sutures in the earlobe, which will either dissolve or be removed a week later.
Patients can resume their routine activities about a week after the procedure.
When can I wear earrings again?
Some physicians will pierce the earlobe and place a stud at the time of the procedure. Dr. Enzer believes it is best to wait three months before piercing the ear again in order to maximize healing.
What are the risks?
Any surgery has risks of allergic reaction, infection, bleeding, inadvertent wound opening, or a bumpy visible scar. There is a chance the piercing hole could become a slit or elongate again, although this is unlikely with Dr. Enzer’s meticulous technique. There can also be an irregularity to the bottom edge of the earlobe contour; again, Dr. Enzer goes to great lengths to make this as smooth as possible. Some patients do benefit from a revision. Fortunately, most patients are very pleased with their results.
Is the procedure covered by my insurance?
Medical insurance only pays for the cost of the procedure in the event of an acute event, i.e. immediately after a child pulls the earring through the earlobe. Otherwise this surgery is considered cosmetic, and patients are required to pay for the procedure accordingly. The cost depends on the complexity of the repair, whether one or both earlobes are being repaired, and the time required. This will be determined at your initial consultation and the cost will include all necessary follow-up visits and/or revisions.