Ear gauging is a popular body modification that stretches the earlobe to sometimes more than an inch in diameter. It is fashionable and socially acceptable among younger people and falls along the same lines as tattoos and body piercings. As many young people leave school and begin to search for professional employment, they find that their ears can hinder them from finding a job. Repairing gauged ears is a relatively new procedure in the field of cosmetic surgery, but surgeons are successfully getting results that satisfy their patients. It is surprisingly simple, and anyone who wants to repair their earlobes should consider it.
It is possible that a gauged ear will return to an acceptable size depending on the size of the hole. A common rule of thumb is that holes less than one-half inch in diameter will eventually return to normal once the object in the ear is removed. When patients first come in for a consultation, the surgeon will remove the plugs and allow the hole to shrink down for approximately three weeks. This will make the hole more manageable and allow for a more conservative procedure.
Earlobe repair is relatively simple and is performed under local anesthesia. Smaller holes are stitched shut. With larger holes, excess tissue is removed and then the lobe is molded into a more natural shape. Larger holes may also require more than one surgery to obtain an acceptable finished product. In addition, laser skin resurfacing may be necessary to diminish the appearance of scar tissue, while dermal fillers may be needed to plump the lobe. The recovery process is short and stitches can be removed in about a week. For many individual who are no longer thrilled by their gauged ears, this can be a very satisfying procedure.