Does Insurance Cover The Cost Of Gauged Ear Repairs?

Q: Dr. Eppley, my 18 year old son had his ears gauged several years ago to a size of about 2 1/2 inches. I have attached pictures as he is now. I was never for it but what can a parent do. He is now ready to have them fixed. I have Anthem insurance. How much would it cost and do you have payment options?

A: Thank you for sending your son’s picture. I have seen many gauged ears such as your son’s. Such earlobe reconstructions can be done very successfully and a normal sized earlobe, albeit with a fine line scar, canc be achieved as an office procedure done under loca; anesthesia. It would be important that the gauges are removed at least 6 weeks before earlobe reconstruction is done. That will allow the earlobe to shrink somewhat and get a better vascular supply to the remaining rim of earlobe skin for optimal healing after the procedure. These are not procedures covered by insurance since the origin of the problem is a cosmetic alteration not a medical one. The cost range is between $1500 to $2,000 for both earlobe repairs.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana