Stretching of the earlobes has been performed for thousands of years as evidenced by statues of the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt manifesting these changes. There has been a recent resurgence in its popularity for both men and women. This has been facilitated by the relative ease and safety of obtaining the desired outcome as well as the greater acceptance of these body piercings.
Nevertheless, many individuals who have gauged their earlobes decide at some point in time for any of a number of reasons that this appearance is no longer desired or appropriate. Removal of the gauges will result in the shrinkage of the size of the stretched deformity over a period of several months but there will never be closure of the created defect. The ultimate appearance including the size of the persistent defect, quality of the skin, extent of residual stretching and drooping will be affected by a multitude of factors. Many times this residual deformity can attract just as much attention if not more as having large prominent gauges still in place.
Now what? Fortunately, plastic surgery can be performed on the earlobe to reconstitute a more normal appearance. This reconstruction can be performed under local anesthesia in the office. It involves excising the skin along the margins of the opening and configuring a closure that will yield an acceptable earlobe shape. Discomfort from the procedure is usually fairly mild and often requires no pain medication. Sutures are left in for approximately one week.
If you have questions regarding the treatment for gauged earlobes or other earlobe or ear deformities, would like information on any other plastic surgery procedure that I perform or to schedule a consultation, please call my office at 480-451-3000.
Steven H. Turkeltaub, M.D. P.C.
Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona