Repairing Torn Earlobes

by Lecia DeBrine
(last updated January 16, 2017)

Over time earring holes stretch out and can tear, mending these types of injuries can be done in a few different ways. These methods are surgical and should be done by a licensed medical practitioner. Ask your doctor if it is something they can do, or if they can refer you to a surgeon that can. Not every surgeon is going to use the same techniques for closing the wound, but here are a few examples of what could be done.

  • Layered Closure. This method uses dissolving sutures on deeper layers of tissue and skin sutures that are later removed. It is a straight closure that has a higher risk of the scar contracting which would create a notch at the bottom of your ear. After the healing is completed you can get your ear re-pierced if you want.
  • Z-Plasty Flap. For this technique flaps are cut and moved to redistribute tissue and reshape your ear. The use of flaps lessens the chance of a scar causing a notch in the earlobe. Again, after your ear is healed it can be re-pierced.
  • Jelly Roll Flap. Flaps are cut inside the tear to recreate your earring hole and close the wound all at once. A stitch is put through the new hole while your ear is healing to keep it open. This is another straight closure and like the layered closure may result in a notch.

These are all outpatient procedures that use local anesthesia. The scars from a simple surgery like any of these techniques will typically be barely noticeable to almost invisible. These and any other choices need to be discussed with the surgeon that will be doing the work, together you can find the right method for your ear to be fixed. After any procedure is done you must to be sure you take care of the wound by cleaning it a few times a day and redressing it if necessary, the healing tissue will most likely have some drainage. Your surgeon will give you a period of time to wait before you begin wearing earring again, but as a general rule re-piercing or wearing any earrings should not be done for a few months after the surgery to ensure complete healing and give the scar some time to soften. The average cost for procedures like these is going to be different depending on where you go, and the rates will start to climb with more complicated cases.


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