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Earlobe Repair/Reduction San Francisco


Earlobe repair is usually done to fix torn, stretched, or damaged earlobes most commonly due to an acute trauma or chronic injury from heavy jewelry. Over time, the hole from a piercing can gradually enlarge resulting in an unsatisfactory appearance when wearing earrings, or even completely tear resulting in a cleft in the earlobe making it impossible to wear earrings.

Also, earlobe surgery may be required if you are not satisfied with the current position of a piercing and you would like it moved to a new location.

Even if there are no problems created by trauma from earring use, the earlobes gradually elongate with age and a surgical earlobe reduction can be an excellent option for those who seek a more youthful appearance to their ears. An earlobe reduction is commonly performed in addition to other facial procedures such as a face or neck lift.

Who are good candidates for earlobe surgery?

Any patient with a torn earlobe is likely a candidate for repair. This can be done immediately following an injury or delayed until the wound has healed and the earlobe tissue is no longer inflamed.

Also, patients who are unhappy with the position of their ear piercing or the size of their earlobes are likely good candidates for surgery as well.

What is the
day of my earlobe
surgery like?

You will not need to fast prior to an earlobe procedure if no sedation or general anesthesia is used. The procedure usually takes about an hour. You may or may not have any dressings after surgery depending on your surgeon’s preference and you will be able to go home as soon as the procedure is completed.

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How do I
prepare for
earlobe surgery?

Earlobe surgery is almost always an outpatient procedure that can be done in an office setting under local anesthesia only. As no sedatives are typically given, patients can drive themselves to and from the visit and take only the day off from work.

Because no sedation or anesthesia is used, no significant preoperative workup is necessary. You will be given a list of medications, vitamins, and supplements to refrain from taking 1-2 weeks before and after surgery. You should also stop smoking before and after surgery.

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What is the
recovery process
for earlobe surgery?

After the earlobe procedure, most patients don’t need significant pain medication, but if necessary, an over-the-counter medication like Tylenol should be adequate. Dressings are not necessary, but a thin layer of antibiotic ointment such as Bacitracin can be applied for the first week.

Patients can return to most of their usual activities almost immediately including showering and shampooing. Sutures are usually removed in about a week for any of the earlobe procedures and the earlobes should not be re-pierced for approximately 2-3 months after the procedure.

It is important to follow up with your surgeon as directed so that any potential complications can be detected and treated early. For the most part these are rare and you will spend most of your time enjoying your new look!

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What are the risks of earlobe surgery?

All surgical procedures carry some uncertainty and risk and this operation is no different. When earlobe surgery is performed by a qualified surgeon with experience in earlobe surgery, the complications are infrequent and usually minor.

As with any procedure, infection is a risk. Usually this can be adequately treated with antibiotics or, rarely, require a second procedure to drain the infected area.

After repair of a torn earlobe, the scar usually heals well but there is a risk of unsatisfactory scars or contour irregularities.

Also, with completely torn or cleft earlobes, there is a risk of a slight indentation or notching at the lower border of the earlobe.

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What is my initial
consultation at Dr. Elyassnia's
office in San Francisco like?

During the first meeting, your surgeon will determine if you are a good candidate for surgery while at the same time you will decide if he or she is right for you. This starts with a full health history with a focus on any major illnesses. It is important to tell your surgeon if you smoke and if you take any medications, supplements, or other drugs as these can have a big impact on your surgery. An example is aspirin or ibuprofen which can lead to the formation of a hematoma after your procedure.

During the exam, your surgeon will do a thorough evaluation of both ears and determine how best to address your earlobes. Finally, photographs are taken of all patients; these assist with the planning and evaluation of your surgery.

Based on this thorough assessment and a discussion of your goals, the surgeon will describe not only what approach is best for you but also the various alternatives and all of the risks and limitations associated with each of these.

It is very important to listen carefully to the various limitations of each approach and to openly discuss your expectations with your surgeon. Many times a poorly informed patient or surgeon is the direct cause of an unsatisfactory result even when there are no complications with surgery. The surgeon should also discuss all the details of the procedure.

At the end of the consultation you may decide to go ahead with surgery and schedule a date, but if you are unsure or don’t feel fully informed do not hesitate to ask your doctor any additional questions. A second meeting may be necessary and should always be available as an option.