As a popular trend within the last five to ten years, ear stretching and ear gauges have become widespread throughout North America. However, like many trends or fads, people grow out of them and hope to reverse their effects. Our resident Otolaryngologist, Dr. Matthew Brace, can expertly restore the earlobe with ear gauge repair surgery.
What is ear gauge repair?
Ear gauge repair or earlobe repair, is a surgical procedure in which an intentionally dilated earlobe is stitched back together. Gauges (also known as spacers, tunnels, cogs, caps or plugs) are a form of body jewelry that slowly expands the earlobe over time. Unlike traditional earrings, these accessories create a noticeable holes in the earlobe that are too large to close on their own. Whatever the reason to repair your ear gauge may be—a more professional career change, increasing age, social stigmas, etc.—Dr. Brace and the Guelph Facial Plastics team can help.
How is the procedure performed?
Surgical repair of a dilated earlobe is a simple yet intricate procedure that should be performed by an experienced surgeon, such as Dr. Brace. Depending on the width of the hole, the surgery technique may differ. With larger holes, excess skin may need to be removed to repair the lobe to a natural looking state. With smaller holes, skin may need to be borrowed from other areas of the ear to make up for the lost skin tissue.
Whatever the size, a hole cannot simply be stitched shut as this will create a narrow and unnatural looking earlobe. The incision, de-epithelialization (removal of skin that lines the hole) and stitching are the simple aspects of this procedure, however it is the planning and preparation that require an experienced eye.
Ear gauge repair is normally performed under local anesthetic, meaning the area is numbed but the patient remains conscious. We ask our patients to set aside about one to two hours for the surgery, depending on the complexity of the gauge repair. Stitches are used to close the new skin and are removed approximately one week post-treatment. During this time the patient must keep the area clean and maintain specific aftercare instructions that will be detailed to them once the procedure has finished. Some patients may choose to take a few days out of their schedules to rest and allow any minor swelling to subside. When the stitches are removed, Dr. Brace will detail further aftercare methods to ensure the lobe stays healthy and uninfected.
What results can I expect?
At Guelph Facial Plastics, we can guarantee full closure of the dilated lobe, without compromising the ear’s natural shape. Results are immediate, however it will be about a week until the stitches can be removed and several weeks until the area is completely healed. The incisions will slowly fade until there is very little indication that the ear has been repaired. Once the area has fully healed, it can be re-pierced, however we do suggest refraining from any type of spacing or gauging again.
One of our ear gauge repair patients, Alex, came to us looking to close his one and a half inch gauge, as he felt the trend no longer suited him. Dr. Brace and team were able to repair the area and create a completely natural looking lobe, as shown in the photo below.
“I had my ears stretched to 1.5 inches. It was a trend that has come and gone. I was tired of people asking questions and gawking. Dr. Brace came highly recommended. He repaired the huge holes and made my ears very natural looking. One of the best decisions. Dr Brace is amazing!” – Alex
Don’t settle to live with your past regrets. Book your ear gauge repair consultation with Dr. Brace today.