Video of Earlobe Repair
ABC news feature of surgery to repair an earlobe...
Earlobe surgery is performed to improve the appearance of your ears or fix a mis-shapen ear lobe. People commonly seek this procedure in order to fix a torn earlobe. Enlarged ear ring holes can also be closed in order to allow your earring to fit better. Finally, some patients with very large earlobes can have earlobe reduction. Enlarged ear lobes can form as a result of aging and when large ear gauges are worn. This is an ABC news segment featuring Dr. Steiger for torn earlobe repair surgery.
Reporter - Valerie has a passion for jewelry, especially earrings.
Patient - I've always loved long, big hoops.
Reporter - That is, until a young relative tugged on one of those big hoops, leaving a large tear in her earlobe.
Patient - I'd never wanted to wear my hair up. I always had my hair to the side, it was just uncomfortable.
Reporter - Trauma to the earlobe, like what happened to Valerie, is the most common cause of split earlobes. Wearing heavy earrings on a regular basis can elongate the piercing hole and increase the risk of a tear. Inexpensive earring may also be a culprit. Allergic reactions to nickel, a metal found in a lot of costume jewelry, can irritate and weaken a pierced ear. Fortunately, split earlobes can be fixed.
Dr. Steiger - Split earlobes are all the same in the sense that they are split, but everybody's ear is different. So the exact procedure that I perform really depends upon the configuration of the split and how big the earlobe is to begin with.
Reporter - Plastic Surgeon, Jacob Steiger says larger earlobes may need to be reduced and then repaired. With smaller earlobes the challenge is making the repair, while preserving the size of the earlobe.
Dr. Steiger - And the skin is kind of cut and put together almost like a jigsaw puzzle, and that puzzle is put back together in order to maintain the smooth and attractive contour of the earlobe.
Reporter - Six to eight weeks after surgery the ear is re-pierced. Then gold or platinum earrings need to stay in place 24-7 for another two months to allow that new hole to form. Valerie can't wait.
Patient - Now I just, I'm at the gym, I put my hair in a bun and I don't even care.
Reporter - The cost of repairing the split earlobe is for both of them. The procedure is done under a local anesthesia right in the Doctor's office so patients can usually drive themselves home right afterwards.
For more information, please visit the main earlobe repair section.