Torn/Split Earlobe Repair in Columbus, OH
Surgery to repair a torn earlobe is a frequent occurrence as piercing an earlobe puts it at risk to tearing. The size, style and weight of an earring can also contribute to the stretching of the earlobe opening. This is also impacted by how large the earlobe is and how low the piercing was placed. Large earrings that dangle are caught on clothing or grasped by a child. The outcome may be a partially or completely torn earlobe. This can never be corrected by simply gluing the split closed. This is due to the fact that the process of the splitting is usually slow and new skin forms as the hole enlarges. Repair of a torn earlobe occurs using a local anesthetic. The procedure consists of “freshening” the edges of the split and placement of sutures to complete the repair of the earlobe. Sutures remain in for 7 days. After that the earlobe will remain un-pierced for 3 months. After that time, Dr. Zochowski will re-pierce the earlobe with a sterile needle a small distance away from the scar.
Gauge Ear Repair
There are many styles and trends that define who we are. Personal expression is important. However, these trends may change over time. The repair of a gauge ear requires specialized techniques. This type of earlobe CANNOT be treated the same way as a split lobe. A rotational flap, downsizing of tissues, and repositioning is required. This can restore the earlobe to a quite pleasing, smaller shape. This procedure can be done in the office as well under local anesthesia.
Earlobe Scar Treatment
Piercing an earlobe also puts it at risk for development of a keloid. A keloid is a scar that grows beyond the edges of the piercing. A keloid is typically thick, nodular, itchy, red or darker in color than the surrounding skin.
The keloid of the earlobe is initially treated by injecting a steroid medication directly into the scar tissue to reduce redness, itching, and burning. A steroid is a potent anti inflammatory. The medication takes 2 weeks to take effect and may be repeated every 8 weeks.
If the medication does not decrease the size and firmness, surgical excision is undertaken with the understanding that the keloid can recur in the earlobe, sometimes even larger than before. Often, multiple modalities are used at this stage with surgical excision coupled with injection of a steroid. During the surgery, a minimal trauma / minimal touch technique is used. Compression earrings or silicone sheeting is encouraged after this surgery. To discourage keloid recurrence in the serial earlobe steroid injections or radiation therapy may be used as an adjunct with surgery. Radiation is usually a last resort.
Schedule a Private Consultation
If you’re in the Columbus area and have any questions or wish to schedule a consultation with Dr. Christopher Zochowski, please contact our office today.