Split Earlobe Repair

Who is an ideal candidate for ripped 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 process for repairing a split earlobe, also known as earlobe reconstruction surgery, involves removing the healed part inside the piercing (fistula), suturing the skin back together, and potentially removing any excess skin.

This procedure is typically done as an outpatient procedure under local anesthesia with minimal pain and easy healing. Recovery time is quick, with most patients able to return to work the next day. It is important to consult with a plastic surgeon who will evaluate your specific situation and determine the best treatment plan for you.

Split Earlobe Repair Procedure

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.

Results from Split Ear Surgery

View Split Earlobe Repair Before & After Photos »

Prolonged Usage of Heavy Earrings

One significant factor that contributes to split earlobes is the prolonged usage of heavy earrings. Over time, the weight of these adornments can strain the delicate tissue of the earlobe, causing it to stretch and eventually lead to a split. This is especially true if the earrings are worn continuously without giving the earlobes an opportunity to rest and recover.

For example, imagine a scenario where an individual consistently wears large statement earrings every day for months or even years. The constant pulling and pressure exerted by these heavy earrings progressively weakens the earlobe tissue, making it more susceptible to splitting.

It is important to note that not all individuals who wear heavy earrings will experience this issue. Factors such as the thickness and elasticity of one's earlobes also come into play. However, it is advisable to exercise caution and be mindful of how long and frequently heavy earrings are worn.

Accidents and Earlobe Injuries

Accidents happen unexpectedly, and unfortunately, our earlobes are not immune to injury. Whether it's from a sudden pull or tear due to heavy earrings or trauma caused by accidents, torn, split, or stretched earlobes can result in a loss of integrity and aesthetic appeal. Earlobe injuries can occur at any age and affect both men and women.

Consider the case of Sarah, who loves wearing large statement earrings. One day, while rushing to catch the bus, her earring got caught on her sweater, causing a painful tear in her earlobe. This accident not only left her with a visible deformity but also affected her confidence.

However, there is hope for those facing such earlobe injuries. Surgical procedures exist that can restore the natural shape and appearance of the earlobe, allowing individuals like Sarah to regain their self-assurance.

Now that we understand the impact of accidents and injuries on our earlobes, let's explore the different surgical procedures for earlobe repair that can help restore their integrity.

Surgical Procedures for Ripped Earlobe Repair

There are several surgical techniques available to repair damaged or stretched earlobes and restore their anatomy. The choice of procedure depends on factors such as the extent of the injury, previous scarring, desired outcomes, and the surgeon's recommendation after evaluating the specific case.

Let's consider two common surgical options: simple incision repair and skin grafting.

  1. Simple Incision Repair: This technique works well for smaller tears or stretched earlobes without significant tissue loss. Using local anesthesia, the surgeon makes a small incision along the torn edge of the lobe. Damaged tissue is then removed carefully, and the healthy tissue edges are sutured back together using fine sutures. It is a relatively quick procedure with minimal downtime.
  2. Skin Grafting: In cases where the damage is more extensive, and there is a loss of tissue, skin grafting may be necessary. This procedure involves taking a small piece of skin from another part of the body (typically behind the ear or inner arm) and grafting it onto the damaged area of the earlobe. The graft is carefully sutured in place and allowed to heal over time, resulting in a restored and natural-looking earlobe.

It's important to note that these are just two examples, and other techniques may be used based on individual circumstances. A qualified plastic surgeon will evaluate each case thoroughly and recommend the most appropriate approach in order to achieve optimal results.

Now that we have explored these surgical procedures for earlobe repair, let's move on to discussing the crucial aspects of preoperative assessment and how the suitable technique is selected.

Contact Us Today!

Interested in getting your ripped earlobe repaired in Salt Lake City, Draper, Layton, Utah and the surrounding areas? Contact Utah Facial Plastics for more information or to schedule an appointment call 801.960.3137 or fill out our inquiry form.


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