Earlobe surgery

The earlobe (also called lobule or lobulus auriculae) is the soft and fleshy part of the outer ear. Lacking cartilage, the earlobe contains significant blood supply and numerous nerve endings. In some people, the earlobe is attached to the face (referred to as an “attached” earlobe). In others, it hangs freely (referred to as a “free” earlobe). Free earlobes are more common than attached earlobes. Injuries from bites and tears in the earlobe can also lead to deformation of the lobe. Sometimes, earlobes can split due to wearing earrings that are too heavy.

Earlobe anatomy

Anatomie de l’oreille

Eralobe anatomy

Earlobe surgery is a relatively simple cosmetic surgery procedure that can be performed under local anesthesia. The surgical procedure allows for the stitching of a torn earlobe or the reduction in size of an overly large earlobe, resulting in a natural outcome with very minimal visible scarring.

Indications for earlobe repair surgery

A defect in the ears can be unsightly and cause discomfort or complex feelings for the person who has it. While surgery to correct protruding ears is better known, aesthetic defects can also concern the shape or appearance of the lobe. Earlobe surgery is gaining increasing interest and can shorten a lobe that is too long, repair a lobe damaged after trauma or a tear, correct a congenital malformation, rejuvenate an earlobe that has aged, or even remove a tumor.

The operation is often requested in several situations:

Repairing a split earlobe

The tear usually results from repeatedly wearing earrings that are too heavy for the lobe. Over the years, the hole gradually widens and can eventually split in two. A simple surgical procedure can repair it permanently. The operation then involves stitching the lobe so that the person can wear earrings again. In some people, the lobe is not split, but the piercing hole has still widened significantly. The procedure can also correct this issue.

Earlobe reducing 

Some people feel that their earlobes are too large or that their shape is too elongated. In this case, earlobe surgery allows for a reduction in size. If the lobes also have a tear, the procedure will not only repair them but also give them a naturally harmonious shape.

Reconstructing an amputated earlobe

This surgical intervention can also be indicated following an amputation of the lobe due to trauma with avulsion or a tumor. The procedure then involves performing a cartilage graft as part of reconstructive surgery.

Surgical techniques of earlobe repair surgery

The intervention is performed under simple local anesthesia in an outpatient setting or at the office. It lasts about fifteen minutes on average per earlobe. The operation is simple, regardless of the indication, and involves making incisions at the level of the torn or too large earlobe. The surgeon then uses absorbable sutures to avoid marking the skin.

The techniques vary depending on the indication to be treated. In the presence of a split lobe, your surgeon will give it a natural and harmonious shape in relation to the rest of the ear and the structure of the face. In the case of reconstruction after an amputation of the lobe, it will be necessary to graft cartilage to reconstruct the volume naturally.

chirurgie lobe oreille avant

Before earlobe surgery

chirurgie lobe oreille apres

After earlobe surgery

How is the earlobe sewn on?

The surgeon will begin by cleaning and anesthetizing the earlobe. Next, the surgeon will sharpen the edges of the fissure so that they match perfectly. He will then use sutures (threads) to sew the edges of the fissure together.

Once the sutures are in place, the surgeon can apply a dressing to the sutured area to protect it and prevent any infection or complications. Healing can take around 2-3 weeks, depending on the severity of the fissure.

It is important to follow the surgeon’s post-operative care instructions to ensure rapid and effective healing. Patients will need to avoid sleeping on the side of the ear for a few days after the procedure, and avoid contact with water for at least 48 hours. Sutures will be removed after about 1-2 weeks in the doctor’s office, and the patient should avoid any activity that might pull on the sutures during the recovery period.

Getting your earlobe sewn back on

The process of stitching a split or torn earlobe is generally straightforward. A local anesthetic is usually used. This means that the surgeon injects an anesthetic into the area around the ear and earlobe to numb the area. This procedure can be performed at Dr. Bernard Cornette de Saint-Cyr’s surgery and does not require a general anaesthetic.

Depending on the tear, the earlobe sewing procedure starts at €800. You will receive a detailed estimate at your first consultation.

Convalescence after earlobe repair surgery

The sutures used during the operation are absorbable. They will fall out on their own after about ten days.

The procedure is usually very easy to follow, with the possible appearance of a little edema for a few days and mild pain, well relieved by simple analgesics.

Social and professional activities can be resumed as normal the day after surgery, and there is no need to avoid social life.

Results are visible as soon as the surgical procedure is completed, but will be definitive once the earlobe has completely healed (approximately one year, during which time the scar will take on different appearances, shapes and colors). The result is very natural and harmonious. Scars are very discreet.

Associated earlobe deformities are corrected, and oversized earlobes are visibly reduced. If the opening has been enlarged too much by wearing heavy earrings without tearing, it is closed.

However, you should avoid wearing earrings for about 3 months after the procedure, or even longer, depending on your doctor’s recommendations.

The risk of complications is very low. These mainly concern swelling of the treated area for a few days, possible bleeding or bruising, infection or asymmetry.

Price of earlobe surgery

The price of earlobe reduction surgery depends on a number of parameters, such as the technique used (and therefore the initial indication: split lobe, torn lobe, lobe too large, reconstruction of a lobe after amputation…), your surgeon’s fees, etc.

A detailed personalized estimate will be prepared during the initial consultation and given to you at that time.

  • The price of ear hole reconstruction surgery starts at €400 per ear.
  • The cost of earlobe reduction surgery starts at €800 per ear.

How much does earlobe surgery cost?

Earlobes often enlarge with the weight of years and earrings, and become unsightly. They can be reduced by carefully cutting and re-stitching the periphery.

The process of sewing back a split or torn earlobe is generally straightforward. A local anesthetic is usually used. This means that the surgeon injects an anesthetic into the area around the ear and earlobe to numb the area. This procedure can be performed at Dr. Bernard Cornette de Saint-Cyr’s surgery and does not require general anesthesia.

Depending on the tear and/or the desired surgery, the earlobe sewing procedure starts at 400€ per ear for an ear hole and 800€ in the case of earlobe reduction surgery. You will receive a detailed estimate at your initial consultation.

How is the earlobe sewn back on?

The surgeon will begin by cleaning and anesthetizing the area around the ear and earlobe. Next, the surgeon will align the edges of the fissure so that they match perfectly. He will then use sutures (threads) to sew together the edges of the fissure using an intra-dermal suturing technique.

Once the sutures are in place, the surgeon can apply a dressing to the sutured area to protect it and avoid any infection or complications. Healing can take from 2 to 4 weeks, depending on the severity of the fissure.

It is important to follow the surgeon’s post-operative care instructions to ensure rapid and effective healing. Patients will need to avoid sleeping on the side of the ear for a few days after the procedure, and avoid contact with water for at least 48 hours. Sutures will be removed after about 1-2 weeks in the doctor’s office, and the patient should avoid any activity that might pull on the sutures during the recovery period.

Earlobe surgery reimbursement

Earlobe surgery and split earlobe surgery are considered cosmetic procedures, and are therefore not reimbursed by social security.

You will be given further information during the initial consultation, including details of the planned surgical procedure, post-operative recovery, risks of complications and results.

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