How is an earlobe repair performed?
The affected earlobe is anesthetized with 1-2 injections of lidocaine. The anesthetic effect occurs in seconds. All you feel during the procedure is some pressure and the sensation that someone is flipping your ear back and forth. The dilated piercing and stretched surrounding skin is removed through a small wedge-shaped excision or occasionally with a more involved tissue rearrangement called an advancement flap. The new unaffected skin edges are sutured together on the front and back of the earlobe and removed in 14 days. A small bump will be created at the bottom of the earlobe where the curvature occurs. This bump is created on purpose with sutures and will flatten out after the sutures are removed. The creation of this bump avoids the possibility of having an indent or “scalloped” ear once healing has occurred.
What will I feel during the recovery?
Some aching or mild pain can be experienced for a few days after the procedure. Usually the pain will be at its worst the first night and you will be encouraged to take an oral pain medication for relief. You will leave the office with a large pressure bandage on your ear which you must leave on and keep dry for 24 hours. You will be given take home wound care instructions which will be reviewed before you leave the office.
Will I have a scar following earlobe repair?
Yes, a scar results anytime the skin is cut. The scar will be minimal and in many cases imperceptible. The scar will be apparent immediately after the procedure and will begin to flatten out and fade once the sutures are out. Dr. Litani will followup with you 3 months after the procedure to assess your scar and discuss any techniques to further reduce the appearance of your scar. It can take at least 3 months for your scar, which is a double scar (on the front and back of your ear) to soften and fade. Please be patient and understand that healing takes time and keep your followup appointment.
Are there risks associated with earlobe surgery?
Yes. As with any surgical procedure, there are possible risks. Side effects are unlikely and typically mild in nature. These risks include but are not limited to the following: mild discomfort after the procedure, bleeding, infection, hypertrophic scarring, and sensitivity in the area of treatment. Any abnormal scarring will be treated by Dr. Litani at your followup appointment.