Earlobe Repair or Reduction

By Dr. James White

Having earlobe reduction, reset or repair are commonly and fairly inexpensive surgical procedures. Earlobes come in all shapes, floppy, attached, detached, small, medium and large. Some patients have congenital enlargement of the earlobes. Earlobe contouring can be completed to change the lobe to the desired size/shape.

While heavy earrings or gauges may be popular today, one might regret the effects to the earlobes with age. Not to worry, stretched, misshaped and torn earlobes are typically repairable as an in-office procedure.

Repair with Dermal Fillers

Split/torn earlobes or stretched earlobes are a common problem faced by many women. Fortunately, repairing the earlobe is a relatively straightforward office procedure that can be performed in less than an hour. In certain cases, however, the problem may be that the earlobe has thinned and the earring will not stay in the desired position but, instead, will droop downward. In these cases, it often possible to rejuvenate the earlobe simply by using a dermal filler to plump it up. This created the support for an earring to remain in the ideal position.

Office Surgery Earlobe Repair

Simple tears of the earlobe are straight forward. Local anesthetic is injected into the earlobe and surrounding tissues. The section of extra tissue, scar or stretched piercing is removed entirely. The two halves are then reconnected and approximated with fine sutures with reset of the earlobe to a more natural position/shape. After about a week, there may be a thin white scar but this should fade over time. Laser resurfacing to the scars can be completed in the healing phase. Ears may then be re-pierced after 6-12 weeks should patients choose to wear earrings again.

More complex otoplasty or cosmetic ear surgery can be completed in an office suite. Dr. Sandra Lee recently appeared on The Doctors TV show to repair an ear stretched out be ear gauging.

Ear gauging is a process where the earlobes are stretched radically to accommodate to jewelry. The long-term effects are not very attractive and many choose to repair their stretched earlobes when they want to enter the workplace or begin their own families.

Branches of the military require earlobe piercings to be small; small enough not to allow light to pass through the opening. If the earlobe is stretched enough to allow light to pass, surgical repair is required before one can enlist. Keloids or hypertrophic changes of the skin due to trauma or incision are often seen in the earlobe due to piercing.

Keloid scar tissue can be surgically excised. Steroids and other chemotherapy agents can be infiltrated to the site to help prevent re-occurrence of the keloid hypertrophic scars.

Earlobe reduction Surgery

The earlobe reduction procedure may actually restore enlarge or stretched earlobes to their previous condition by excising extra tissue. Earlobe reset can also be completed for stretched misshaped earlobes due to poor earlobe positioning from short scar facelift procedures.


The cost to repair torn earlobes varies by surgeon and by region ranging from $350 for simple tears up to $1500 for more complex repairs. Earlobe repair is usually considered cosmetic and is not covered by most insurance carriers. Earlobe repair/reset is typically performed in an accredited office surgery suite using sedation and local anesthesia. Call (423) 648-4011 to schedule a complimentary consultation!

For a complimentary consultation call (423) 648-4011.