Can Gauged Earlobes Be Fixed?
Q:I was wanting to know if Dr. Eppley has any experience in the repair of stretched (gauged) earlobes and how much a consultation would cost?
A: Repair or reconstruction of earlobe deformities are common in-office plastic surgery procedures. Short of congenital microtia or earlobe loss from injury, the gauged earlobe deformity is of greater complexity that simple earlobe split repairs. Gauging the ear is a form of earlobe expansion. When the gauge size is not too big (not bigger than the original size of one’s natural earlobe) the expanded earlobe has a generous amount of tissue. This enables it to be put back together in a normal size because there is adequate soft tissue. When the gauge becomes much bigger, the earlobe tissues become stretched and actually thinner. (tissue atrophy) When putting this type of gauged earlobe back together, the final appearance of the earlobe will be smaller than it originally was.
I have done lots of ear and earlobe reconstructions over the years of many different causes. The gauged earlobe is but a newer type of deformity but its reconstruction still uses the same basic plastic surgery principles. In many cases it can still be done in the office under local anesthesia.
If you send me pictures of your ear, we can consult for free by e-mail. This is an easily visualized problem that allows photographs to suffice in lieu of an actual office visit. That way, you can schedule a repair and get it done by only having to make one visit. (although a second visit will be needed for suture removal)
Dr. Barry Eppley
A detailed description and pictures of your concerns allows for the most informed response.