Many of us, particularly in our younger years, have chosen manners of self-expression that can easily be shed with changing times (good thing hair grows, right?). But some youthful style choices are a lot harder to leave behind, particularly when they involve surgical body enhancements. Ear gauging – piercing the earlobe and then stretching it out to allow for larger jewelry – is an example of a trend that, like tattoos, can’t be reversed on its own. Once the opening is stretched beyond a half-inch in diameter, it will not close up without medical intervention. And this is hitting people in the wallet - many former ear gauge wearers are being turned away by potential employers because of what are considered to be unsightly hanging earlobes.
The good news is that gauge earlobes can be surgically repaired in a doctor’s office, sometimes in under an hour. We offer this service successfully here at Plymouth ENT!
We numb the patient’s ear for the entire procedure, while the patient stays awake and comfortable. Our cosmetic techniques can vary depending on the extent of the earlobe stretching, but generally involve removing the excess stretched tissue and restoring a more normal shape through interior and exterior stitches.
Any post-surgical discomfort can most often be managed through over-the-counter pain medication. Your surgeon will give you care instructions and antibiotic ointment to apply to the incisions to prevent infection. No bandages are necessary post-op. Once the swelling goes down, the stitches are removed – usually within about a week. Any scarring is designed to be well-hidden along the contour of the reconstructed earlobe.
These types of corrective cosmetic procedures are becoming more and more popular too. CBS recently published an article detailing the increasing trend of fixing stretched ear lobes in this article: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/cosmetic-surgery-to-fix-ear-tribal-piercings-on-the-rise/.
If you or a loved one have been debating on this procedure and want more information; we’re here to help. Contact us by phone at 508.746.8977 for more.