Correction of earlobe aging, earring holes tears are easily performed. Otoplasty corrects the prominent ear or abnormal ear folding. Treatment and correction of cauliflower ear is also reviewed. Osseointegrated implants for ear prosthetic rehabilitation are an option for some patients.
Heavy earrings and age-related earlobe thinning can gradually cause unwanted changes to the ears. Correction of long stretched earlobes or aging-related thinning can be done with surgical reduction and earlobe lifting with a local anesthetic. Additionally, injection of HA fillers such as Restylane and Juvederm can restore the youthful plumpness of the earlobes.
Earring Hole Repairs
Earring tears or stretched earring holes are easily corrected. The holes are initially closed to allow complete healing and then repierced 6 weeks later.
Progressive stretching of the ear lobes with grommets creates large holes in the earlobes. Usually the removal of smaller grommets (16-20 gauge, or less than one-half inch in diameter) cause the earlobe to contract to a normal shape on their own. Occasionally, larger holes from progressive stretching require reconstruction of the ear lobes.
Insurance does not cover cosmetic corrections of earring holes. But it may be possible to obtain coverage for larger earlobe repairs caused by traumatic tears. Our office can verify if insurance will cover the repair.
Otoplasty – Prominent Ear Correction
This is a procedure commonly performed on children at least 8 years of age. Correction of protruding ears results in improvement of self-esteem and teasing in children. Adults can also benefit from this procedure. The technique is varied and includes suture placement on the cartilage of the ear as well in the crease behind the ear. Some of these procedures can be done under local anesthesia while some require a light general anesthesia.
Cauliflower Ear Repair
The cauliflower ear deformity results from trauma to the auricle. Injury causes separation of cartilage layers with build-up of fluid or blood between them. Initially, the ear becomes inflated with blood and fluid causing obliteration of the ear shape. This is called a hematoma or a seroma and requires prompt drainage. In addition to draining the fluid collection, the split ear cartilage requires splinting with a tight dressing to prevent recurrence of fluid build-up. If it is not done, more cartilage grows between the split layers as the ear heals. This results in a thickened distorted appearance called cauliflower ear. Correction of this deformity can be performed under local anesthesia. In some severe cases, improvement of appearance is a more realistic goal than complete correction.
In the complete absence of external ear, prosthetic rehabilitation is required. Dr. Madorsky specializes in osseointegrated implant insertion for support of a prosthetic ear. He works closely with a local Prosthodontist, Dr. Mark George, to re-create a normal ear when there was none.