What are earlobe tears?
Ear lobe tears are tears in the earlobe that may be complete where the whole lobe is torn or incomplete where the earlobe opening is enlarged but the tear is not complete. The tear may involve only one earlobe but most often it involves both lobes.
What causes an ear lobe tear?
The most common cause of an earlobe tear is the use of heavy or large earrings which weigh down on the ear-piercing progressively enlarging the opening. Another common cause is when the earing becomes stuck while trying to put on a pullover, thereby causing splitting of the earlobe.
How is the earlobe repaired?
Fortunately, the repair of the earlobe is fairly simple. The procedure is performed under local anesthesia. The edges of the tear are excised and the front and back of the lobe are sutured.
How long is the procedure?
The repair of one earlobe takes about 30 minutes, and if both are involved the repair takes less than 1 hour.
What is the post-op course?
You can return to work immediately and can get the sutures wet. The stitches are barely visible because it is usually covered by hair. The stitches come out in about 1 week.
Is it painful postoperatively?
There is very little, if any, pain after the procedure. At most, a Tylenol may be taken.
When can be the ear be re-pierced?
The ears can be re-pierced after 3 months. We provide this service free of charge.
What precautions can be taken to prevent future tears?
It is important to avoid heavy and/or large loop-type earrings after the repair to minimize possible future tears.