Who is an ideal candidate for split earlobe repair?
Split ear lobe is exactly what it sounds like and is the separation of the skin from the point of piercing down through the base of the ear lobe. It most commonly occurs due to the trauma of heavy or dangling earrings that create a slit in the ear lobe that overtime, extends to the base of the lobe. Catching a hoop earring in a comb when combing the hair or having a small child grab it are two common causes along with heavy pendulant earrings and infection. Although most common in women, Drs. Thompson and Henstrom see a considerable amount of males for gauged earlobe repair as well.
The procedure is minimally invasive and typically performed under local anesthetic in either of our two locations. The surgeon makes incisions to “freshen” the wound edges and the closure is performed in a zig-zag fashion to strengthen the area from splitting again. Patients return 3-4 days post procedure for suture removal.
Patients report minimal pain with split lobe repair but pain medication is typically given in case of discomfort. Antibiotics are also prescribed to prevent infection. Aerobic activities should be avoided for one week following surgery and it’s important to avoid bending, lifting or straining during that time as well. Once sutures are removed, a steri-strip dressing is added to reinforce the closure while healing takes place.
Six weeks following the procedure when the incision is fully healed, our surgeons will re- pierce the ear again if the patient desires. This is also done under local anesthetic so there’s little to no pain involved.