Can My Gauged Earlobe Be Repaired To Still Leave A Hole?

Q:  I have my ears gauged to about 1 inch and I have a really bad tear in my left ear. My right ear isn’t too bad but is blown out in the back. Can these ears be fixed? But I don’t want my ears closed all the way! Just the scar tissue removed and my left ear thickened a little bit so it doesn’t tear off.

A: The repair of the gauged earlobe, while looking intimidating, is actually easier than one would think. The reason is the normal earlobe is small but the gauged earlobe, despite its big hole, has actually created extra earlobe tissue. Through a basic plastic surgery concept of tissue expansion, the earlobe edges may have gotten thinner but the actual amount of earlobe tissue has increased. It is always easier to reconstruct a body part where there is too much tissue than when there is a deficiency.

In reconstruction of the gauged earlobe, it can be done two different ways. The most common method is to remove the excess tissue and put it back together as a complete earlobe. After 3 months of healing, the ear can then be pierced. An alternative method is to do the reconstruction leaving a smaller but complete hole in the middle. The hole can be made very small for a piercing or left larger to wear a smaller gauge. Either 3 months of healing again are needed before anything is inserted.  

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana