Time was, only women asked their cosmetic plastic surgeons what could be done about torn earlobes, resulting from wearing ear rings that were too heavy or danged too far down. In some cases, toddlers grabbed and tugged on a dangling earring, tearing the earlobe.
But time changes. Men and teen boys started wearing ear studs and then switched to being even more hip via larger ear holes to accommodate rings and other jewelry.
But young men in England and the United States who crave joining the Armed Forces found ear studs were a huge no-no, military speaking, while the large, open holes in earlobes caused recruiters to send the hopeful soldier, Marine, Air Force or Navy enlistee packing.
Alas, repairing such out-of-the-way injuries to create a natural-looking ear is not a surgeon’s walk in the park.
Our method for women with earlobe woe: repairing three layers of ear tissue under extremely strong magnification. The procedure can be done in the surgeon’s office under a local (only the affected body part is deadened) anesthetic.
(Read more about modern anesthetics in cosmetic plastic surgery.)
First, the surgeon must remove the tract through the lobe that held the earring. If the earlobe has been torn, the edges of that channel must be trimmed. The rest of the closure involves closing the outer layer on the front part of the ear and checking the lobes fatty middle. Finally, the skin on the rear of the earlobe undergoes the same repair as the front of the ear.
The surgeon takes great caution to avoid any notching at the very bottom of the earlobe.
The look of your earlobe fix depends entirely on the surgeon doing the procedure. To have natural looking ears, your surgeon must have great skill doing such repairs. Be sure and ask for earlobe repair before and after pictures.
After the earlobes have healed, most ask if they can have ear piercing again. We usually advise waiting two months after the repair before going after another earlobe piercing.
In the United Kingdom, young men with “Flesh tunnels” in one or both ears are being barred from joining their armed forces.
Flesh tunnels are created by placing cone-shaped devices into both earlobes and then daily pushing them deeper until the flesh tunnel is about 1.5 inches across. Thus, one of the fastest growing cosmetic procedures in the U.K. is repairing stretched earlobe tunnels.
While the procedure to repair and close flesh tunnels only takes 30 minutes, the cost is dear to most at the British equivalent of $2,330 U.S. dollars.