Torn or split ear lobes are a very common problem, generally a result of an accident in which an earring is pulled, tearing a pierced ear lobe, or the result of slow, steady injury from the use of heavy jewelry in pierced ears. The result is typically either a complete separation or near separation of the ear lobe. While this condition generally has no adverse medical affects, it is a very visible problem that many individuals find quite detrimental to their appearance. Dr. Arroyo can use several methods of ear lobe repair to close these tears and improve the appearance of the injured ear.
Repair of an ear lobe that is freshly torn can be a simple matter of suturing the injury and allowing it to heal. However, in most cases of ear lobe tearing seen in Dr. Arroyo’s practice, these injuries are older ones, fully, if not attractively, healed. That means that the edges of the tear will have had skin grow over them, making a permanent slit or notch in the ear lobe.
To perform ear lobe repair in these cases, Dr. Arroyo will need to remove that skin in order to reconnect those edges appropriately, a task that may be done via laser or manually. Then, in most cases, the split sections can positioned appropriately for good cosmetic results and sutured, using one of several specialized techniques – chosen according to the shape, size and position of the injury, among other factors – to minimize scarring and provide optimal aesthetic results.
Ear lobe repair can be a bit more complex if the injury is not a clean split – with tissue missing or extremely uneven edges. Of course, these are issues that Dr. Arroyo will address with you during your initial consultation, giving you a clear idea of what will be involved with your ear lobe repair procedure and what you can expect in terms of cosmetic results.
Ear lobe repair is typically done under local anesthesia in Dr. Arroyo’s office. Procedures are generally quick, taking no more than 30 minutes in most cases. Patients will be instructed on wound care, including wound hygiene and any topical ointments or medications that should be applied. Sutures are generally removed after 5 to 7 days, although absorbable sutures, which dissolve on their own, may be used in some cases. In most cases, ear lobes can be re-pierced if desired after healing is complete.
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