Ear Surgery Discover a Renewed Sense of Facial Balance

If you or your child have been yearning for ears that protrude less, or that simply do a better job of framing your face and creating an appealing sense of facial symmetry, ear surgery might be a great option for you. As one of the few cosmetic procedures that can be performed on children, ear surgery can go a long way toward sparing a child the need to deal with unfortunate social situations as a result of asymmetrical or large ears. If you’d like to learn more about ear surgery, the Virginia Institute of Plastic Surgery is here for you. Our offices are located in Richmond, Charlottesville, Northern Virginia, and Washington DC and we are excited to learn more about what we can do for you.

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The Ideal Ear Surgery Candidate

Unlike most plastic surgery procedures, ear surgery is often performed on children ages four to 14, as it is important to perform the surgery as early as possible, to prevent teasing from other children, which can be emotionally stressful to the child. Ear surgery can be performed – with no additional risks involved – on adult patients as well.

You’re likely to be a great candidate for ear surgery with Dr. Burton or Dr. Reps Sundin if you’re interested in addressing:

  • Stretched lobes
  • Torn lobes
  • Trauma or injury
  • Large ears
  • Asymmetry

Creating Naturalistic Results

More often than not, patients who undergo otoplasty surgery are very satisfied with the results of their procedure. One must look at the results of ear surgery as enhancing the natural beauty innate in every patient; the point is not perfection, but the most natural, normative look possible. This is yet another reason why direct and honest communication with your surgeon is extremely important.

Luckily, Drs. Burton Sundin and Reps Sundin offer a combined 30 years of experience, along with a high level of specialized training. They’ll work with you to learn about your individual goals before crafting a treatment plan that sees you enjoying your ideal results. Their combination of technical skill and artistic inclination means you’ll enjoy naturalistic results that leave you feeling confident and empowered.

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Choosing a Surgeon You Can Trust

Ear surgery is a common surgery that, when performed by a qualified, board-certified plastic surgeon, will not usually result in complications. However, with any elective surgery, there are always some risks involved and they must be considered before you make any decision on your behalf or that of your child.

Some patients develop a small blood clot in the ear after surgery, but this condition is usually alleviated by drawing out the blood with a needle. Furthermore, an infection in the cartilage of the ear can develop, which can result in scar tissue. In most cases, antibiotics are administered in this situation and it is resolved.

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When to Consider Earlobe Reconstruction

Ear reconstruction can involve the entire ear or only part of the ear, such as the lobe. Earlobe reconstruction is a much less involved procedure than other ear reshaping surgeries. Men and women both wear ear jewelry to enhance their appearance. Unfortunately, sometimes significant weight or trauma can pull ear jewelry through tissue. A tear in the lobe or margin leaves a gap in the otherwise smooth connected edge.

Your Ear Reconstruction Options

Gaps in the earlobe tend to gradually enlarge over time, and the final tear normally occurs through a tiny piece of tissue near the bottom of the lobe. If only the bottom of the lobe is actually torn, immediate repair won’t take care of the skin-covered opening. 

If the tear begins from a small pierced hole, however, you do have the option for immediate repair. Otherwise, reconstruction must be delayed until after the wound has healed and tissues are no longer inflamed.

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The Earlobe Repair Experience

Reconstruction can take different forms depending on the type of tear. In all methods, the skin lining tear will be removed, creating a raw edge to rebuild. If lost tissue complicates the reconstruction, the goal will involve reestablishing normal proportions in a slightly smaller ear.

Whatever the nature of your ear surgery may be, your surgeon will help you understand exactly what to expect during your preoperative consultation. You’ll also be given thorough aftercare instructions and a detailed recovery timeline.

Why Is My Earlobe Torn?

While the soft ear lobe contains skin and fat, other areas of the ear contain cartilage that adds structural strength to the ear. Irregularities of the cartilage are easily seen since the tissue over the cartilage is usually very thin. Earlobes can become torn through a variety of means. Sometimes they’re torn due to cosmetic choices to wear large gauges. Other times, they’re torn because of trauma or injury. In either case, Drs. Burton and Reps Sundin have the expertise needed to restore your look and your overall quality of life.

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How Do I Prevent Torn Lobes?

The obvious answer is to not pierce your ears, as this way they are less likely to tear. When ear jewelry is pulled at sharply it can tear through the tissue or over time enough pressure can cause this to occur. 

When you are around young children, it’s smart to remove your earrings. Young children tend to grab jewelry and pull hard, and bigger jewelry or large hoop earring are more easily grabbed by their little hands. Studs are less likely targets for young children but there is still the possibility they will cause damage.

Large and/or heavy items can gradually elongate the piercing and eventually possibly tear right through the earlobe. Larger items have greater momentum and damage more easily occurs during activity. Lighter smaller jewelry is always safer.

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Scar Care

The stretching of earlobes is a tradition that is still practiced today in which one gradually stretches a pierced lobe out gauge by gauge. Over time this stretching thins and distorts the tissue of the earlobe so that when the gauges are taken out, the deformed shape remains. Most people who make the decision to have their gauged earlobes repaired have come to a time in their life when perhaps having gauged earlobes are preventing them from achieving the jobs and careers they desire.

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Repairing Stretched Lobes

A lot of the potential for repair in a gauged earlobe repair depends on how far stretched out the earlobes are and how long they have been stretched. If you are interested in repairing your gauged earlobes, the first thing you will need to do is take the gauges out to see how much repair the ears do on their own. 

This natural healing process should be given about 12 weeks, at which time Dr. Sundin can more adequately assess the extent of the damage and form a plan for repair. No two repairs are identical. The procedure varies from patient to patient depending on the circumstances of the stretch and the repair will be designed to meet each individual patient's needs.

Gauged Earlobe Repair is generally done in the office, with a local anesthetic. Patients can resume normal activities within hours and the sutures are removed in seven to 10 days' time. If you are interested in learning more about repairing gauged earlobes, contact our office to schedule a consultation today.

Contact Us Today

Restoring your appearance is about more than a simple cosmetic correction. Producing the results in which you’re most interested means giving you the opportunity to live the life you find most fulfilling, and Drs. Burton and Reps Sundin are committed to creating exactly these results. With over 30 years of combined experience between the two of them, Drs. Sundin are committed to operating a practice that offers an elite level of patient care.

If you are interested in earlobe repair procedures, or would like more information on any of our surgical or non-surgical rejuvenation procedures, we encourage you to contact the Virginia Institute of Plastic Surgery to schedule an appointment today. Our offices are located in Richmond, Charlottesville, Northern Virginia, and Washington DC, and we look forward to hearing from you.

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