Not Happy With Your Ears? Consider Earlobe Reconstruction
- 22 May 2014
Ears are one of the most prominent facial features we have. Sometimes people try to cover up their ears with certain hairstyles or by wearing hats. Big, protruding ears are not ideal for most of us. But, an otoplasty can address the problem by pinning back protruding ears. This results in a much more pleasing and balanced overall appearance.
While some people are trying to minimize their ears, others draw attention to theirs.
Big, sparkling, oversized earrings hang from nearly everyone’s ears these days. It starts in the teenage years and just continues all the way into the elderly years. Guess what happens as a result of gravity and added weight? Our earlobes sag!
Just like the rest of the body, earlobes lose some of their elasticity as time goes on, and the holes get bigger and bigger while the lobes get longer and longer. Otoplasties, by definition, do not correct this. But, plastic surgeons are being called upon to perform earlobe reconstruction to fix the loose and damaged earlobes.
Who is requesting earlobe reconstruction?
Let’s look at the target population for an earlobe reconstruction. Women of middle-age or older make up a large portion of population requesting this surgery. Another population undergoing earlobe reconstruction is individuals who have had damage or injury to their earlobes. This damage is often the result of earrings being pulled out through the lobe accidentally.
One recent patient explained her earlobe sagging was the result of her little girl tugging and pulling at her earrings all the time. Eventually, her earlobe completely separated and looked more like a lizard’s tongue than an earlobe.
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The earlobe reconstruction procedure:
Local anesthesia is used for earlobe reconstruction. Lidocaine is injected and, after a period of waiting for it to take effect, the reconstructive work begins. It may seem that a simple suturing (sewing) of the gap would take care of the problem, but that would leave a bulge at the top of the gap. This would never be acceptable to a detail-oriented (as most are) plastic surgeon. Instead, the surgeon may fill the gap with a synthetic material that is matched the patient’s skin color. By using this “gap filler”, a more realistic earlobe appearance is achieved.
Commentary on gauging: The art of stretching your earlobes
The art of stretching your earlobes, or gauging, has gained popularity in some very select circles over the years. Gauges can create a large, gaping area in the earlobe. But, many people who have gauges are beginning to acknowledge the associated difficulties. One particular man thinks back to his intention when he started the gauging process several years ago: He thought society would start to accept gauges and his perception of their associated appeal. Since this broad acceptance has not occurred, he is now struggling to obtain a job in order to support his family. He has since sought earlobe reconstruction.
An earlobe reconstruction for gauges is completely different than that for stretched or separated earlobes. While gap fillers can be used in those instances, tissue must be removed when doing an earlobe reconstruction on someone who previously had gauges. It is a successful and effective procedure, and in the gentleman above’s case, will most likely allow him to quickly rejoin the ranks of the gainfully employed.