Women and men wear ear jewelry to enhance their looks. Since ancient times rings, posts, and other objects have adorned ears. Various parts are pierced to hold these items in place. However, the effect of weight/ gravity and/ or trauma can pull through tissue resulting in a split earlobe. This defect is usually very visible and hard to cover with hair or clothing.
The soft earlobe is made of skin and fat. Other parts of the ear have cartilage for structural strength. Since the tissue over the cartilage is thin, contour irregularities of the cartilage are easily seen. Reestablishing the delicate shape of the underlying cartilage adds complexity to reconstruction.
The tiny wires that hold jewelry can tear through the tissue when sharply yanked or with enough pressure slowly over time. Larger loops and bigger items are more easily snagged. Small posts are less likely targets, but can still cause damage. Large or heavy items will gradually elongate the hole and eventually will tear through the lobe. Larger masses have more momentum, and damage happens more easily during activity. If you cannot live without your heavy jewelry, be careful about quick movements. Lighter, smaller adornments are safer.
Earlobe Repair Procedure
Dr. Talbott will remove any skin lining the split to create a raw edge, and will then stitch the ear back together. A z-plasty or flat procedure may be required to close the tear to allow for adequate strength for another earring.
Earlobe repair surgery is an office procedure performed under a local anesthetic; you’ll be able to return home the same day. Contact Dr. Talbott to schedule a consultation.
You will need to wash your wound with soap and water two to three times a day. A thin layer of antibiotic ointment is applied twice a day. You must wash your hair the day after surgery. Expect some drainage from the repair site. Sutures are usually removed after five to seven days.
The patient can begin to massage their scar with cocoa butter 15 minutes a day starting two weeks after earlobe surgery. The massaging seems to soften the scar over time.
Wearing Earrings After Surgery?
Provided the wound has healed and there is no sensitivity, you can wear clippers for about two weeks after surgery. Regular earrings can be worn six weeks after surgery when the scar is stronger. However, heavy jewelry can still tear the repair and is not recommended. If the ear-piercing hole is closed up during a split earlobe repair surgery, the ear can usually be re-pierced after six weeks.