Can I Get My Elongated Ear Lobule Cleft Repaired?
What Is an Elongated or Cleft Ear Lobule?
Elongated auricular lobule or cleft auricular lobule occurs in individuals wearing earrings for a long period of time, especially in women. A cleft of varying degrees in the ear could also be present since birth in a few individuals, which is termed congenital ear cleft. Trauma can also cause a cleft to form in the earlobe due to various reasons.
So, Why do these Ear Holes Enlarge or Split Wide Open?
There are several reasons why the earring hole elongates more commonly in certain individuals than others. These also tend to recur in them because of the below characteristics too.
Weight of the Earrings
Heavy earrings with a Thin stalk or hook tend to cut through more easily. Thus an earring with a thicker hook or stud is preferable if your ear holes have a tendency to enlarge.
During the natural process of ageing, the skin gradually loses collagen and elastin fibres which give strength, elasticity, and tightness to the skin.
The shape and position of various parts of the face are also linked to our genetic traits like the shape of the nose, eye colour, eyebrows, lips etc.
Smoking accelerates the natural ageing process by restricting blood flow to the skin. This increased ageing of the skin and decreased collagen or elastin fibres result in loose wrinkled skin.
Sometimes, earlobes may get cut because of trauma. Earloops may be pulled by getting entangled in stuff, or maybe a child pulls at it too hard.
How Is an Earlobe Repair Procedure Performed?
Lobuloplasty is the surgical procedure described to repair a split or elongated earlobe. Most earlobe tears are operated upon using local anaesthesia. This procedure can last for about half an hour or so. The surgery is performed as a daycare procedure. In some instances, a second procedure may be needed to correct any residual or deformed defect.
Earlobe repair can be broadly classified into:
Incomplete cleft – this is usually bilateral and frequently found in elderly women who have worn heavy earrings for many years.
Full cleft – usually unilateral, caused by direct local trauma like sudden pulling of earrings.
What are the Steps of Lobuloplasty?
The ear is made up of cartilage covered by the skin on both sides. It is a complex 3D structure whereas the earlobe is soft and devoid of any cartilage support. So moulding the tissue to attain smooth contours is a daunting challenge to even the best of the plastic surgeons.
1. To begin with, marking is done on the earlobe skin to plan the incision and illustrate the final scar line to you.
2. Inside the OT, the ear is sterilized with betadine, and then infiltrated with a local anaesthetic to prevent any pain during the procedure.
3. The cosmetic surgeon extends the split downwards to complete the ear or excise the cleft as a cuff of tissue in whole. The extra skin on the inside edge of the enlarged ear cleft or split ear hole is carefully removed preserving the natural contour of the ear. The skin edges are then approximated with minimum sutures needed to close the defect.
4. A small sterile dressing is placed, and you are allowed to go home.
5. The sutures are kept in place for a week after which the doctor will remove them during a follow-up visit.
What Are The Benefits Of Earlobe Repair?
Ears are an essential part of the face. Any abnormality is immediately noticeable. Enlarged ear holes or split earlobes don’t look aesthetically pleasing. Earlobe repair is a daycare procedure, and you don’t have to stay back. It takes around an hour for the entire procedure. It is a quick, easy and painless way to restore the earlobe permanently. You can get an ear piercing again after around 4 weeks once the sutured site heals completely.
What Are The Complications Of Lobuloplasty?
Complications from earlobe repair include keloids, hypo or hyperpigmentation, and suture dehiscence in some individuals. Infection is a very rare complication which we usually don’t come across. Pain, if any is minimal and lasts up to a day. A precautionary antibiotic and a pain killer are usually prescribed for a few days to deal with any infection and pain.
How To Prevent Pierced Earring Holes From Enlarging?
There is nothing you can do to change your skin type or eliminate gravity.
Use lighter earrings for routine wear. Danglers (ornaments that hang) tend to pull on the ear lobe as they sway, so studs are a better choice as they stay snug to the ear lobe.
Earrings with a thin central staff cut through the skin quicker than with thick stalk.
You need to be more careful if you have thin skin and thin earlobes. Your earholes will probably enlarge early. But do remember that given enough weight all ear holes will expand eventually.
Suture-Less Glue Repair Vs Sutured Earlobe Repair? (Which Is Better)
When correctly performed both types of repair can produce fantastic results. Though there are some caveats to either procedure.
The suture-less glue repair may leave a scar that is raised from the surface of the earlobe. The inward dipping suture line catches the light at the wrong angles and creates a shadow along the ridge making the scar very prominent. The incision scar may also widen with time.
On the other hand, sutured repair causes the inconvenience of returning to the clinic for suture removal after seven days but produces a much better and thin scar which is generally flush with the surface of the earlobe. The reason is that sutures grab the skin as well as the soft tissue inside and hold them together while the tissues heal.
Glue approximates the skin surfaces only, and the healing soft tissue beneath the skin shrinks away from each other causing a valley like a deep final scar.
It is important to note that ear lobe repair is different from otoplasty, or ear correction surgery is done for congenital defects of the ear. Dr Valluri Mukesh Krishna is a Board Certified Aesthetic Plastic Surgeon, who is highly qualified and experienced. He is one of the Best Plastic Surgeons in Hyderabad, India. Consult with him today to know more about getting your ear enlarged lobule or elongated cleft repaired. He has successfully performed many ear lobule repairs including elongated ear clefts & piercing holes.