Ryan Mitchell, MD and Earlobe Guaging Repair


Dr. Mitchell, MD and Earlobe Gauging Repair

If you happen to tune into Fox17 Morning News, you might have seen a segment on our very own Dr. Ryan Mitchell. He recently performed earlobe repair surgery on a patient looking to reverse a youthful fashion statement.

Rachel Krauss started gauging her ears as a teenager. In addition to wanting to wear ‘pretty’ earrings again, she didn’t want to have her career prospects limited by a decision she made years ago. Rachel turned to Grand Rapids, MI Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Ryan Mitchell to repair the damage, and repair her image.

If you’re not familiar with the term, ear gauging is a process where the earlobes are stretched. Over time, the earlobe slowly expands, creating a large hole. But our skin can only stretch so much. Once you stretch your earlobe past a certain size, there’s no going back. The only way to repair the damage is with surgical correction.

What seems like a great idea to a teenager or young adult can have long-term consequences. Some may not consider how stretched earlobes can be permanent, or that they might limit future career choices. After Rachel became a mom, she was ready to change her look. She removed her gauged earrings, hoping her earlobes would return to their normal shape. Four years later, the holes were still enlarged. That’s when Dr. Mitchell stepped in. He successfully repaired the holes, and the results have Rachel grinning from ear to ear.

Since her surgery, Rachel’s looking forward to applying to nursing school, and is considering a career in the military, which was out of reach with her gauged ears. Many young adults are surprised to learn the military has passed new body piercing and gauged earlobe guidelines that limit the size of ear holes for servicemen and women.

Earlobe correction surgery is performed by Dr. Mitchell at the Bengtson Center for Plastic Surgery and Aesthetics. This routine, out-patient procedure involves creating a small incision around the outside edge of the hole, where the skin has stretched. The remaining skin is fused together while recreating the earlobe’s natural contour. The surgery is performed under local anesthetic and takes less than an hour. Recovery typically takes one week, however, patients can look forward to resuming normal activity following the procedure.

“The ears are very hard to repair since there isn’t much extra skin, so I would certainly recommend thinking twice about gauging your ears if you’re considering it,” says Dr. Mitchell. “Rachel is the best-case scenario, since her holes were relatively small and didn’t require as much piecing together as some I’ve seen.” That’s music to Rachel’s ears!

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Grand Rapids Plastic Surgeon