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External Ear Lobe Repair

Torn earlobes are a common problem with pierced earlobes. They are most-commonly completely torn through, but occasionally patients will come in with the piercing enlarged and a small bridge of skin remaining.

Though a relatively small defect, torn earlobes are difficult to repair well. There are a large number of ways to repair them, which usually indicates that there is not a “best” way for everyone. Each defect requires an evaluation and plan to fit that specific lobe’s defect. Surgery is usually performed in the office under local anesthesia and takes about 20 minutes per side. The edges of the torn piercing are freshened and sewn back together, either in a straight line or with specially constructed skin flaps.

Most insurance companies do not cover this procedure as it is considered cosmetic in nature.

Re-piercing is usually done 6-12 weeks later.

Prevention is important. A few tips include:

  1. Avoid heavy ear rings
  2. Try to only wear small studs around babies and toddlers so that they cannot grasp the ear ring and pull it through.
  3. Put your ear rings on after you have put on your clothes. Take your ear rings out before taking off your clothes. This will prevent your top / sweater from catching the ear ring.
  4. Consider using one of the commercially available back supports for heavier ear rings.