Body modification is increasingly popular among younger generations. Tattoos and piercings in all sorts of visible locations are more and more the norm. One such trend is gauged ear lobe. This is a process in which plugs of increasing size are inserted in the ear lobes, resulting in a stretched ear lobe. People wear a variety of types of jewelry in their gauged ears, including rings that leave a visible hole in the ear, or disks that may be made of stone or have artwork on them.
However, as with any choice made in youth, people often find they are not as happy with their gauged ears as they age. This may be because they simply decide they do not like the look. It may also be because they find that this countercultural appearance makes it more difficult for them to find a job or navigate the adult world. When you decide you do not want to have gauged ears any longer, a consultation with a plastic surgeon may be in order.
Ears can be gauged to all different sizes. Some people stop at a fairly small gauge. For these people, although when they remove the earrings there may be a visible hole, over time the ear lobe may shrink back to its original size. Your surgeon will be able to help you determine if this will be true for you at your initial ear lobe repair consultation.
For those with larger gauges, a procedure to repair the ear lobes may be necessary to return it to a normal appearance. The difficulty of the procedure will depend on the size of the hole. If the holes are on the smaller side, it is simple to remove some tissue around the edge of the hole and stitch it shut. When the holes are larger, multiple procedures may be required to achieve an optimal result. The skin around the inside of the hole is removed, as with smaller holes, and the ear lobe is molded into a more desirable shape. After the procedure, you may need to have a resurfacing procedure to decrease the appearance of scars, and you may want to have fillers injected to plump up the ear lobe, which may lack volume due to the tissue that is removed. Recovery time from these procedures is typically just a few days, with some pain that can be controlled with medication.
If you have gauged ears that you want to be done with, contact Dr. Kabaker’s Oakland office at 800-914-4247 to set up a consultation.