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7 Commonly Asked Questions About Earlobe Reduction

An earlobe reduction procedure reduces the size of your earlobe. The technical term for an earlobe reduction is loboplasty, but this term is rarely used. Patients may want to decrease the size of their earlobe due to multiple reasons. Sometimes the earlobe is too long or “fat” due genetics, and sometimes piercing or gauging can cause the earlobe to stretch over time. Aging, loss of collagen, and gravity along with the use of heavy earrings may cause stretched, sagging earlobes. Whatever the reason, an earlobe reduction is a minimally invasive procedure that can restore a pleasing shape to the earlobes. This procedure normally takes around an hour and a half for both ears, with the benefits lasting years if not forever.

Who is a good candidate for earlobe surgery?

Earlobe surgery is typically performed on men and women with stretched or torn piercings. The procedure can also benefit those who were born with overly long ears. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder; if you are bothered by too long or disharmonious ears or earlobes, schedule a consultation with our Facial Plastic Surgeon Dr. Inessa Fishman to learn about the ear treatments offered in our practice, and whether these can benefit you.

How old do you have to be to get an earlobe reduction surgery?

Dr. Fishman says most earlobe reduction procedures at Aviva Plastic Surgery are performed on older teenagers and adults. “Newborn babies can have ear deformities that can be treated non-surgically, with a treatment called Earwell,” says Dr. Fishman, also noting that some earlobes can have irregularities in their shape and some ears can have extra pieces, called tags, which may require a minor surgical procedure to treat. Too prominent ear or “bat ears” can be surgically treated with otoplasty, and Dr. Fishman will treat children aged 5-6 years old at the youngest. “Most earlobe concerns are something I treat in our adult patients,” she notes.

What kind of anesthesia is used for the earlobe reduction procedure?

The earlobe reduction procedure can be done in the office with relaxing medicines like laughing gas and local anesthesia (or injected numbing medicine). When combined with other procedures such as a facelift or otoplasty, earlobe reduction may be done with general anesthesia as these procedures require the patient to be asleep.

How is the earlobe reduction procedure performed?

An earlobe reduction starts with the relaxing medication and local anesthetic. Once you are relaxed and numbed, Dr. Fishman starts treatment. She carefully designs and removes small wedges of earlobe tissue, usually hiding the scar along the very bottom of the earlobe, or within the crease where the earlobe joins the face. After removing the excessive earlobe tissue, Dr. Fishman closes the incisions with tiny stitches. During the earlobe reduction procedure, it is normal to feel touch and light pressure, but it is not normal to feel any pain. The healing time for this procedure takes around three to six months. Stitches are earlobe reduction are typically removed 1 week after surgery.

Can earlobe reduction be combined with other procedures?

Yes, earlobe reductions are often combined with otoplasty, which is a surgery to reshape the ear and commonly bring it closer to the head. Earlobe reductions are paired with many facelifts, too, as earlobes and ears grow longer with age. In many instances, though, it is reasonable to have an earlobe reduction by itself for genetically too-longed or gauged earlobes.

Are there scars?

In short, earlobe reduction does leave scars. These scars are typically thin, faint, and well hidden. The incision for the procedure is usually placed at the very bottom of the earlobe and sometimes extends to the crease between the earlobe and face. This tends to be well hidden, and the earlobe reduction scars are difficult to find. Dr. Fishman typically lasers or treats earlobe reduction scars with a polishing radiofrequency procedure to make them even less apparent during the healing process.

Can you get your ears re-pierced after the procedure?

Yes, you may re-pierce the earlobes after earlobe reduction. We can re-pierce your earlobes in our office, or you can seek out a piercing practice once you are cleared for re-piercing by Dr. Fishman.