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Earlobe Reduction

All the features of the face and neck play a part of an intricate symphony, and the ears are no exception.  Overly long earlobes can look disharmonious and can make a person appear older than they really are.  Too-long earlobes can also “drag down” the face, making it look overly long or heavy as well.  While genetics can contribute to overly long or prominent (stuck out) earlobes, some earlobes may stretch due to the use of heavy earrings, gauging, or trauma.  At Aviva Plastic Surgery, we treat and rejuvenate the ears with a variety of approaches, such as otoplasty (ear-pinning surgery for overly prominent ears), repair of stretched, torn, or gauged earlobes, and reduction of too-long earlobes.  If you are bothered by earlobes that are too long or stretched, consider an earlobe reduction treatment at our practice, and read on to learn more about this minor surgical procedure.

Earlobe Reduction in Sandy Springs and Atlanta, GA

Earlobe Reduction: Treatment Details​

Earlobe reduction (also known as a “lobe lift”) is a minor surgical procedure most commonly performed in our clinic with an injection of numbing medicine (also known as local anesthesia) or as part of a bigger facial rejuvenation surgery, such as a facelift or necklift.  With the understanding that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, our facial plastic surgeon Dr. Fishman measures the ears and earlobes, and discusses ideal earlobe appearance, normal variation in earlobe symmetry, and scar placement as part of your initial consultation at our practice. Depending on your individual anatomy and aesthetic needs, Dr. Fishman hides the incision for earlobe reduction in the crease between the earlobe and the face, or places it at the lower border of the earlobe for best scar camouflage. 

After carefully measuring and removing excess tissue from the earlobe, Dr. Fishman closes the earlobe reduction incision using small stitches; these stitches and the incision are typically covered by an inconspicuous surgical tape dressing for approximately 1 week, after which the stitches are removed.  Most patients report little to no downtime after an earlobe reduction, and return to their work and social obligations immediately following the procedure.

It seems like such a small thing, but my earlobes were a big insecurity for me--they were always really long, and I was always hiding them with my hair.  I had an earlobe reduction with Dr. Fishman, and I'm so happy!  My insecurity is gone, and I love taking photos--and showing my ears!

Candidates for Earlobe Reduction​

Good candidates for earlobe repair are men, women, and children with overly long or prominent earlobes who want improvement in the appearance of the lobes.  Earlobe reduction treatment may be appropriate for overly long or stretched earlobes, asymmetric earlobes, or so-called “pixie ears” (or earlobes that are excessively attached or pulled forward due to genetics or previous facelift surgery).  Patients should be in good health and have mature, realistic expectation of treatment. 

Frequently Asked Questions

The discomfort associated with earlobe reduction is minimal.  Most commonly, our facial plastic surgeon Dr. Inessa Fishman performs earlobe reduction surgery with the help of local anesthesia (an injection of numbing or freezing medicine), in our clinic.  This injection stings for 15-30 seconds (very much like an injection of numbing medication at the dentist’s office).  After the earlobe is numbed, most patients report no discomfort and only slight tugging and pressure during the earlobe reduction procedure.  After the repair, most patients describe a mild soreness for a few days, and usually do not require any pain medication stronger than Tylenol and Motrin.

If Dr. Fishman performs earlobe reduction as part of a facelift or neck lift procedure, she prefers the patient receive general anesthesia (or go to sleep) for the bigger surgery while undergoing earlobe reduction at the same time.  The discomfort of a facelift and neck lift is generally more pronounced than that of an earlobe reduction alone, and most patients receive stronger pain medications for the first few days of their recovery.   

The most common side effects of earlobe reduction include temporary mild swelling, bruising, numbness, and discomfort of the earlobes. The risks of this procedure are uncommon and include bleeding, bruising, infection, and need for revision.

Most patients are able to return to work and social responsibilities immediately after earlobe reduction.  Most commonly, our earlobe reduction patients have this procedure performed with the help of injectable local anesthetic, in the comfort of our clinic, and leave with a small dressing of tan paper surgical tape on their earlobes.  The first week after earlobe repair typically involves mild swelling and tenderness along the earlobes; stitches are usually removed 6-10 days after the procedure.  Like any incision, the scars for earlobe reduction take a few months to soften, lose their initial red color, and regain sensation; most patients notice these intermittent symptoms for 2-3 months after surgery.

Patients may desire earlobe re-piercing after earlobe reduction; depending on your anatomy and medical history, Dr. Fishman may discuss ear piercing at the time of earlobe reduction or after a few months of healing. 

Earlobe reduction is a cosmetic procedure and is not typically covered by insurance.  Our practice does not contract with insurance companies.  At Aviva Plastic Surgery & Aesthetics, we offer financing options for the earlobe reduction procedure.  Please inquire with our staff about this at the time of your consultation or head to our Resources page to learn more.

The price of earlobe reduction varies, and depends on your individual anatomy and needs.  A common starting price for an earlobe reduction is $1500 per lobe; this includes your procedure and follow-up visits.  

Earlobe Reduction Care Instructions​

Excellent post-procedure care is important for healing.  We encourage our patients to review carefully and follow closely our post-earlobe reduction care instructions to ensure the best treatment outcome.  Please contact us at 678-974-8435 if you have any questions or concerns.  

  • Take Tylenol 500mg by mouth every 4 hours as needed for discomfort/ soreness after your procedure.  Do not exceed 4000mg Tylenol in a 24 hour period.
  • Take Motrin 400mg by mouth every 6 hours as needed for discomfort/ soreness after your procedure.
  • Sleep with your head elevated above the level of your heart for 3-4 nights; this elevation promotes faster resolution of swelling.  Sleep on an old, dark pillowcase or towel in case of bleeding.
  • If Dr. Fishman has placed a tape dressing onto your incision and stitches, do not remove this until your follow-up appointment or as otherwise instructed. You may get in the shower and wash your face, hair, and tape dressing immediately after treatment.  You may allow water, shampoo, and facial cleanser to run over your incision and/ or dressing; pat dry the incision and/ or dressing after showering. 
  • Avoid lotions, moisturizers, and creams/ointments on the incision and/ or tape dressing until you return to see Dr. Fishman.  There is no need for antibiotic ointments such as Neosporin or Bacitracin.
  • Know that itching, tightness, and some patchy areas of numbness are normal for several days to weeks after your treatment.
  • Return for your follow-up appointment in 6-10 days after treatment; you should expect to have stitches removed and for Dr. Fishman to examine you at that time.
  • If you underwent an earlobe piercing at the time of your earlobe repair, clean the front and back of the piercing site with hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol on a q-tip twice daily for 2 weeks.  Rotate the newly placed earring twice daily for 2 weeks while cleaning.  Do not remove the newly placed piercing for 8 weeks to allow satisfactory healing.  You may wash the newly placed piercing with clean water (tap water); avoid dirty water (such as lake or ocean water) on the newly placed piercing for 3 weeks after piercing.
  • Please call our practice with any questions or concerns.  Please notify us should you develop a fever greater than 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit, spreading rash or redness, sudden swelling, bleeding, increasing pain, or any other concerns. 

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