Earlobe Repair After Gauging
Gauging of the earlobe dates back over 5,000 years. The earliest known gauging was noted on a mummy approximately 5,300 years old. Perhaps the most famous individual to have their ears gauged was King Tutankhamen (King Tut). Over the last several years ear stretching or gauging has become more popular for a variety of reasons. For some it is a fashion statement, or a statement of individuality. For others, it tends to be a more spiritual connection with patients and the energy involved in gradually stretching the earlobe to meet a predetermined goal. Due to changes in ones life, weather it is situational or personal, many individuals desire to have the process reversed.
Unfortunately, once the gauges are removed the earlobe will not shrink back to its original size. Although some shrinkage of the earlobe does occur, the individual is still left with hanging skin and a large hole which resembles a rubber band. The difference between an adequate repair and an excellent repair is determined by the look and symmetry of the lower ear and earlobe, once the reconstruction has been completed. If one of the earlobes has had a blowout (the gauge has pulled through) the achievement of the complete symmetry may become more difficult but not impossible.
Repair or reconstruction of the earlobe is performed under local anesthetic and takes between 50 and 65 minutes. Dissolvable sutures are placed underneath the skin while very thin non-dissolvable sutures are placed on the skin surface to meticulously line up the skin edges. The skin sutures are removed between 10 and 12 days. A small waterproof strip of tape is placed over the incision so the patient may shower without the worry of getting the incision wet. The tape usually falls off after 3 to 4 days or may be removed at that time. Pain or tenderness is usually minimal, however Dr. Marouk generally prescribes pain medicine so that his patients are able to sleep throughout the night without the worry of waking when lying on one of the repaired ears. It is recommended that one allows 3 months before re-piercing the ears in order to allow any minor swelling to resolve. Although piercing after a repair is never an issue, the placement of gauges are not recommended. The area of the repair and resulting scale are never as strong as normal tissue, therefor placement of a gauge in this area will most likely result in an eventual pull through of the earlobe.
Dr. Marouk routinely performs repair and reconstruction of both earring pull through as well as gauge repair. Please feel free to call (489) 814-1112 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions concerning this procedure.
Below is an actual patient of Dr. Marouk’s before and after earlobe repair.