Ear piercing is extremely common. Unfortunately over a period of time, some people develop a split or torn earlobe. This can be due to injury, when the earring gets caught on a brush or clothing, or can develop gradually due to weight of heavy earrings. This split, or torn, earlobe is unsightly, but can be repaired.
This is a surgical procedure done under local anaesthetic, on an out-patient basis. There are a number of different surgical techniques which can be used, but all aim to change the split into a smooth contour. It is possible to re-pierce the ear at a later stage, when the ear has healed fully.
Patients are required to stop taking medication which alters blood viscosity, e.g. aspirin. As for all surgery, patients are requested to stop smoking at least 6 weeks prior to surgery.
The surgery can be performed in a number of techniques. Generally the first stage involves cutting around the two loose flaps to make them smooth and exposed. The next stage requires the surgeon to stitch the ear lobes back together following a zig-zag pattern which will afford the patient the option of getting her or his ears pierced again.
Patients are advised to apply antibiotic ointment to reduce the risk of infection. Patients are advised to avoid the use of hairdryers until their wounds have healed.
Patients who undergo ear lobe reconstruction should not attempt to have their ears pierced again for a minimum of 6 months after their surgery.
Complications are uncommon but may include:
- Permanent scars
This surgery is usually covered by private health insurance in Ireland.
For additional information regarding this procedure please contact your Consultant Plastic Surgeon.