Questions? Call (816) 286-4126
Matt Hlavacek, MD, DDS
Jason Baker, DDS



Earlobe repair — stretched, sagging, torn earlobes

January 21, 2014, 8:53 am

One of the most common procedures for ears is the repair of stretched or torn earlobes. Earlobe repair can help people who experience a stretched earlobe from habitually heavy earrings, a tear from an injury, or poorly placed piercing holes. Whatever the cause of your earlobe abnormalities, Dr. Hlavacek and Kansas City Surgical Arts can help.

Causes of earlobe damage

Common causes of earlobe problems include tears from trauma or accidentally pulling on an earring, or from wearing heavy earrings. Regardless of the cause of your earlobe issues, Dr. Hlavacek will assess your earlobes and the damage. If the damage is related to piercings, Dr. Hlavacek may discuss your preferred style of earrings, as heavier earrings are more likely to cause large or sagging piercing holes. Depending on your goals, he may also discuss placement of the piercing holes.


The ideal candidate for earlobe repair is a person in good overall health. During your consultation, Dr. Hlavacek will assess your earlobe damage and its causes. He will review your health history, medications, and your goals for earlobe repair. During this appointment, Dr. Hlavacek will also discuss the best treatment options for your needs, including risks for those options.

Earlobe repair surgery

Most earlobe repairs are done with a local anesthetic. Typically, surgery involves a small incision to remove any damaged skin or scar tissue, allowing a smoother, more even surface for the repair. Dr. Hlavacek will use fine sutures to bring the skin together at both the front and back of the earlobe, allowing for minimal scarring. Depending on your goals, you may also choose to have piercing holes reconstructed during your procedure, or you may wish to re-pierce some other time. Regardless, please note that continued wearing of heavy earrings may lead to future sagging despite your earlobe repair.

More extreme damage may require more aggressive treatment. Should your repair be more complex than typical repairs, Dr. Hlavacek will discuss your options during your consultation.

After surgery

Although earlobe repairs are low risk and fairly simple, antibiotic ointment and a small bandage will be applied after surgery, and post-surgery instructions should be followed as closely as possible. Mild swelling and bruising are normal but usually resolve in a week or two, with stitches being removed about a week after surgery. Showering is allowed during recovery.

If you have had a revision of your piercing holes along with your repair, the holes may be able to take small posts about six weeks after surgery and larger earrings about three months later. Dr. Hlavacek will discuss the ideal earrings with you. If you have chosen not to have piercing holes reconstructed during your surgery, you should wait at least six months before considering piercing.

Surgery risks

Possible complications related to earlobe repair include infection, pain, redness, scarring, bleeding, asymmetry, and changes to sensitivity. If you such symptoms or other concerns after surgery, consult with Dr. Hlavacek as soon as possible.

For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact Kansas City Surgical Arts at 816-286-4126.