The split earlobe is a very common occurring problem mostly as a result of wearing heavy earrings for long periods of time. Earlobe repair surgery is a reconstructive cosmetic surgery procedure to restore the appearance of earlobes that have been torn or stretched causing disfiguring for the patient
Reasons for a split in an earlobe
Trauma to the ear due to:
- Wearing excessively heavy earrings for long periods of time, the pierced earlobe gradually gets stretched until it is totally torn through, causing a split earlobe.
- A poor piercing technique, placing it too near the outer border of the ear.
Indications for Split Earlobe Repair Surgery
- Earlobes which are stretched and the piercingis enlarged to a point that it looks unsightly and can no longer support an earring.
- Earlobes which are torn, as a result of overstretching or tearing while wearing earrings.
- Complete medical history including any health problems you have had, ongoing medication, and any allergies you may have.
- You may be advised to stop taking certain medicines such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), aspirin
- Physical examination –the surgeon will examine and also take pictures for medical records.
- The consultant will discuss the benefits and your expectations of the procedure.
- The procedure takes approximately 30-40 minutes per earlobe
- It is an outpatient procedure done under local anaesthesia.
- The surgeon removes the skin on the inside of the split and then stitch the ear back together.
- Fine suture threads are used, support the repair and minimize scaring.
- Bandages are applied on the ear lobes
- Advised not to re-pierce the ear at the same place because scar tissue does not support an earring and it will cut out again.
- You will be able to go home the same day with a small dressing covering the stitches.
- You will experience some discomfort following ear lobe surgery.
- Pain medication are usually prescribed
- Small amounts of antibiotic ointment are applied for a few days ensuring cleanliness to help prevent infection
- Stitches are usually removed within one week, there is fine scar barely visible after healing .
- You will need to let the earlobe fully heal before getting your ear pierced again.
Complications of Split Ear Lobe surgery
Any surgery however minor has some risks, few complications with split earlobe surgery may be:
- Bleeding from the wound
- Infection – this can be a skin infection or infection of the cartilage of the ear
- Haematoma formation
- Irregularities on the surface of the ears, asymmetry of ears
- Risk of scar formation
Factors affecting the cost of Earlobe Repair Surgery
The cost to the patient depends on a variety of factors like
- The hospital patient chooses
- Experience of surgeon
- Cost of Medicines, Standard test and diagnostic procedure.
- Cost of procedure
- Cost of the follow –up care required after the procedure