Why Get an Earlobe Repair?

A minimally invasive surgery to repair and reshape your lobes. 

Earlobes can stretch or tear for a variety of reasons, such as age, genetics, or from wearing heavy earrings or gauges. Even when you stop wearing heavy earrings or remove gauges, you may find your ears remain long and floppy. But you don’t have to live with overly large, torn, or stretched-out earlobes. 

With earlobe repair, you can bring balance back to your face with ears of a more natural shape and size. Ross A. Clevens, MD, FACS, a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon and Renata Khelemsky, MD, will work with you to achieve your desired look, whether that’s restoring your earlobe to the original size and shape, altering your earlobe’s appearance, or repairing rips, tears, and other damage.

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Do I Need an Earlobe Repair?

For men and women who are unhappy with their earlobes.

Dr. Clevens and Dr. Khelemsky perform earlobe reconstruction not only on patients with torn or stretched earlobes, but also on men and women who are generally unhappy with the size, shape, or appearance of their earlobes. They also specialize in repairing earlobes of patients who used to wear gauges.

Prospective patients should be in good health prior to undergoing any cosmetic surgery. Patients who choose this procedure should maintain realistic expectations for their results and understand the limitations of cosmetic procedures. Ultimately, the best way to know if an earlobe repair will help you achieve your goals is to talk with Dr. Clevens or Dr. Khelemsky and their team, who can advise you on the best options for your specific situation.

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Earlobe Reconstruction Benefits

Restore your earlobes to a natural shape and size.

Bring back not only the appearance of your earlobes, but your confidence and self-esteem, too. The change in your appearance may be small, but the procedure can make a big difference in your life.

In addition to the personal benefits, earlobe repair surgery can also help you professionally. Many patients choose earlobe reconstruction because of workplace or military restriction against stretched earlobes. Don’t let your earlobes get in the way of landing the job of your dreams.

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Earlobe Repair Procedure

An in-office procedure performed under local anesthesia.

Though a relatively minor procedure, earlobe surgery is best performed by an experienced surgeon who has a keen artistic sense and understands how to reconstruct the ear to a natural shape. The procedure takes no more than 45 minutes to an hour to complete, with each ear taking 15 to 30 minutes. During the procedure, anesthesia is administered at the incision site so you feel no pain.

Dr. Clevens or Dr. Khelemsky will make small incisions in order to access the earlobe tissues. These incisions are typically made in the natural creases of the ear to camouflage the small scars that will form once the incisions heal. Your surgeon will reshape earlobe tissue to restore an aesthetically pleasing, natural look.

For gauge repair, your surgeon will create a new, natural-looking earlobe shape and suture the edges together so that it closes up as the earlobe heals. You can return home shortly after the procedure.

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Earlobe Repair Recovery

A minor surgery with minimal impact on your life.

Downtime for earlobe repair surgery is minimal. To minimize swelling, we recommend you sleep with your head elevated for a few days post surgery. You can usually return to work and other activities a few days after the procedure. Sutures are removed in about five to seven days, and you can typically resume exercise 48 hours after earlobe repair.

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Before and After Photos


Ross A. Clevens, MD, FACS

*Each patient is unique and individual results may vary.

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Ross A. Clevens, MD, FACS

*Each patient is unique and individual results may vary.

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Earlobe Repair FAQs

What are the risks of earlobe surgery?

Like all cosmetic procedures, earlobe repair carries minor risks. Infection, bleeding, unfavorable scarring, and notching can occur. However, these risks are minimized when the procedure is performed by a facial plastic surgery specialist, such as Dr. Clevens or Dr. Khelemsky.

Can I wear earrings again after the procedure?

Yes. Many patients have their ears re-pierced following an earlobe repair procedure. Most patients can pierce their ears again about 60 days after surgery.

How old should a person be before undergoing earlobe surgery?

There is no set age for earlobe repair. Patients of all ages may require surgical repair. Some young patients come in for gauge repair between the ages of 18 and 30 when they are in a different phase of life or starting a new career, while older patients may need earlobe reconstruction as the skin begins to sag and the earlobes become stretched and droopy.

Children whose earlobes are deformed due to a birth defect or trauma can usually undergo the procedure as soon as their ears stop growing—around the age of five. If the surgery is done prior to this age, the ears continue to grow and the results may become distorted. Ear surgeries, including otoplasty, must be postponed until the ears are fully mature.

Is an earlobe repair procedure painful?

Surgery to repair the earlobe is performed with local anesthesia. This will fully numb the area and patients will feel no pain. They may feel some pressure, but there should be no discomfort during the procedure itself. Minor soreness may occur during recovery, but this can typically be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers if necessary.

Will there be any visible scarring?

All surgeries produce some scarring, but our facial plastic surgeons are experts at minimizing the appearance of surgical scars. Dr. Clevens and Dr. Khelemsky take care to conceal earlobe repair incisions in discrete locations, such as in the creases of the ears, to camouflage scarring. Some minor scarring will occur, but it should fade and be difficult to notice after a few months.

I used to wear large gauges. Can you fix my earlobes?

The effectiveness of cosmetic surgery varies from patient to patient, but most people who previously wore gauges can typically achieve very natural-looking results with earlobe repair. Dr. Clevens or Dr. Khelemsky can assess the condition of your earlobes during a consultation and determine how much improvement you can expect from the procedure.

What Our Patients Say

Hear from one of our ear repair surgery patients.

“Had incisionless otoplasty done with Dr. Clevens. He listened carefully to what I wanted to accomplish from this procedure and he delivered amazing results, ears look very natural. Pain was minimal if any, recovery as expected. Best money I ever spent!” –subeef, review on RealSelf

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We’re Excited to Help You Look and Feel Your Best

Meet with Dr. Clevens or Dr. Khelemsky to see how an earlobe repair can help you meet your aesthetic goals.

Lasting about 60 to 90 minutes, your consultation allows you to get to know our doctors and develop your custom treatment plan. Dr. Clevens or Dr. Khelemsky will go over your health history and ask questions about your goals and expectations. Your surgeon will perform an exam of your earlobe area and make suggestions for treatment options. The consultation also gives you time to ask questions and address any concerns you have so you can make a confident decision about your treatment.

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