What is Earlobe Reduction?
For isolated earlobe reduction, the procedure is usually performed in an office setting with local anesthesia or mild oral sedation. The procedure addresses elongation of the earlobe that occurs over time and is particularly common in women who have frequently worn very heavy earrings.
How is Earlobe Reduction Performed?
The procedure is performed under local anesthetic, and incisions are made where the earlobe attaches to the cheek, Once the incision is made, the volume of the earlobe is reduced. This may or may not include the closure of a pierced earring hole or multiple holes. The incision line is then closed with several interrupted sutures where the lobe attaches to the cheek and on the backside of the ear.
The earlobe is typically swollen for a couple of weeks after surgery. If the ear is to be re-pierced, that procedure can be performed about three weeks after surgery. In performing this procedure it is important to establish with the patient whether or not they have or seek an attached or detached earlobe.
The design of the surgery will include these concepts. Some patients who have had a facelift done elsewhere in the past have an elongated or pulled down earlobe, and an earlobe reductive procedure is helpful to re-establish a normal earlobe contour for these patients as well.
Who is a Candidate for Earlobe Reduction?
The best candidates for this surgery are patients who have isolated or enlarged earlobes. The procedure takes approximately one hour. The sutures are removed one week after surgery, although most sutures are dissolvable. Patients may return to work the next day, and full exercise activities can be resumed at one week after surgery.
If exercise involves protective headgear, such as snow skiing, patients must be careful that the earlobe is not distorted early after surgery.
The potential risks and complications include some numbness of the area after surgery, although we have never seen persistent numbness. The very rare patient can develop a reactive scar which may need to be treated. We have never an infection. Our bias is to be conservative in all aesthetic surgery and on rare occasions patients return seeking some additional reduction in the size of the lobe, but this is an uncommon occurrence.