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Ear piercing, the most widely practiced piercing, has existed for many generations as a way to ornament the human body. Mummified remains thousands of years old have been found with pierced ears, both to decorate the remains and give them treasures in their after-life. Later, early explorers would pierce one ear in the belief that they would then be able to see farther. By the 1800’s, sailors pierced their ears in the hopes that if they died and their body washed ashore, the finder would be able to sell the jewelry for enough money to bury the body.

In modern times, body jewelry has progressed significantly from the rudimentary tools and ideas used in the past. Most piercings today are done for purely aesthetic reasons, unlike the pioneers of body jewelry. However, some people still experience some unfortunate side effects. An accident or heavy earrings can cause a tearing of the skin around the hole in the earlobe, turning something that is supposed to add beauty into a displeasing scar or tear.

A torn or stretched earlobe hole doesn’t have to forever alter someone’s appearance as earlobes can be repaired by a plastic surgeon. A plastic surgeon uses a local anesthesia in the office and repairs the lobule or earlobe using a flap. The actual repair can be completed with a number of minor variations, and is designed to result in a clean, smooth appearance for the ear. Stitches can be used to close the gap, coupled with removal of some of the existing tissue in order to let the skin heal evenly and smoothly.

An earlobe repair procedure is non-invasive. There is little swelling, no special dressings are required afterward, and the patient can shower and wash as normal with no worries about getting the area wet. After repair, the patient has a follow up appointment so that the doctor can remove the sutures. The only mark that remains after the surgery has healed may be a fine line running down the lobe. The ear can be re-pierced after it has healed.

It is rewarding for me to see the relief my patients feel when I am able to correct an issue which they have lived with for years. Further, the enjoyment of wearing beautiful dangling or heavy earrings may not be possible without earlobe hole repair. When patients find out they can correct this problem with a relatively minor surgical procedure, they are often eager to do so. It is my pleasure to help.

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