What is Ear lobe reduction?
For isolated ear lobe reduction, the procedure is usually performed in an office setting with local anesthesia or mild oral sedation. The procedure addresses elongation of the ear lobe that occurs over time and in particularly for women who have worn very heavy earrings.
How is Ear lobe reduction performed?
The procedure is performed with placement of local anesthetic and incisions are made where the ear lobe attaches to the cheek and the volume of the ear lobe is reduced. This may or may not include 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 as well. The ear lobe is typically swollen for a couople of weeks after surgery. If the ear is to be re-pierced that can be performed about three weeks after surgery.
In performing this procedure it is important to establish with the patient wheather or not they have or seek an attached or detached ear lobe. The design of the surgery needs to include these concepts. Some patients who have had facelifts done elsewhere in the past have an elongated or pulled down ear lobe and an ear lobe reductive procedure is helpful to re-establish a normal ear lobe contour for these patients as well.
Who is a candidate for Ear lobe reduction?
The best candidates are the patients who have isolated or enlarged ear lobes. The procedure takes approximately one hour. The sutures are removed one week after surgery, although most sutures are dissolvable. One may return to work the next days and full exercise activities can be resumed at one week after surgery. Although if exercise involves protective headgear, such as snow skiing, one must be careful that the ear lobe not be distorted early after surgery.
The risks and complications includes some numbness of the area after surgery, although we have never seen persisting 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 patient return seeking some additional reduction in the size of the lobe, but this is an uncommon occurrence.