My earlobes are a weird shape after Ear Reconstruction surgery - is this normal / will this change? (photos)

My ears were previously stretched to 18mm and, after having them out for 3 years they had shrunk to 10mm before surgery. I had earlobe reconstruction surgery 9 days ago, my surgeon took the dressings off after a week and seemed happy with the results. From the front I thought they looked okay, however when I got home and looked from the side they look a really weird elongated shape and the back almost looks like it has curled under. Should be concerned or is this likely to be swelling?

Doctor Answers 6

Ear Lobe Repair Takes Time to Heal

Hello sgess!

Give yourself time for the earlobes to heal. I like to tell my patients about 2-3 months for the shape to look more "normal",  as the sutures can deform the ear lobes at first as they try to heal. If the final shape is not to your liking, I suggest you return to your surgeon or seek out an experienced surgeon who can help tweek what you are looking to achieve. 

Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

My earlobes are a weird shape after Ear Reconstruction surgery - is this normal / will this change?

Nine days out from surgery is far too soon to judge.  You still need to go through a period where the swelling goes away and then the scar will contract over the next several months.  Protect the earlobes from any more injury at this time and allow more time.  Good luck.

Garrett A. Wirth, MD, MS, FACS

Garrett A. Wirth, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Ear lobe surgery

I would say 9 days is far too soon to make a judgement . I would wait 3-6 months then see what they are like. Don't forget it takes 18 months for scars to fully mature, so your lobe is likely to undergo further changes. If you are still concerned , ask your surgeon, I am sure they will examine you and do the needful if required.

Mo Akhavani, MD, FRCS(Plast)
London Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Gauged ears

Agree with the above answers.  Give the scars a little more time to mature and discuss revision with your surgeon if necessary.  I personally have found it difficult  to achieve an acceptable earlobe shape with straight direct closure (as was done in your case) and have used a different technique to achieve a reduction of the earlobe in both the horizontal and vertical dimensions.  It can be used on lobes that have been gauged much larger than yours and still give a good result.  

Scott Thellman, MD
Lawrence Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Unusual shape after earlobe repair surgery

Hello there and  thank you so much for your question.

9 days is quite early after surgery; the scar from surgery is vertically orientated and so scar contracture as the earlobe heals will be likely to shorten the earlobes thereby improving the appearance.

It appears that the surgery undertaken has repaired the large gap in  stretched earlobe tissue with simple closure of the gap; to my eye however the earlobes are still so long that even with scar contracture a natural looking earlobe may not be achieved. The problem is that the ear lobe, having been stretched for a prolonged period is no longer the ear lobe of old; there needs to be not just repair of a gap but also reconstruction of a natural looking shape in all dimensions vertically as well as horizontally. This can be done in a number of ways, shortening in the vertical direction is one way and will result in a cruciae scar inn teh middle of he lobe, another method would involve taking up some slack by turning the earlobe in with the additional scar at the junction  of the lobe with the cheek. Sometimes a made to measure plan is required. I would suggest wait until the healing process has progressed and maturation of the scarring has occurred and if you are still dissatisfied then go ahead and discuss an adjustment with your surgeon. 

I hope that you found this information helpful.

my very best wishes

Tariq Ahmad, MBBChir, FRCS(Plast)
London Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Odd Shape to Earlobes After Surgical Closure of Stretched Earlobes #gaugedearloberepair #stretchedearloberepair

  • Your photos do demonstrate that your earlobes are still quite elongated after repair.
  • We have found that to produce a satisfying shape after closure of stretched or "gauged" earlobes, it is necessary to make both vertical and horizontal incisions around the stretched earlobe piercing.  
  • This allows us to both shorten and narrow the stretched earlobe.
  • The result is often a cross shaped scar, which fades considerably with time, and most importantly a naturally shaped earlobe.
  • I'd definitely discuss your concerns with your plastic surgeon.  If he/she isn't sure of how to correct the issue, then definitely get a second opinion from a plastic surgeon who has experience dealing with the stretched or "gauged" earlobe. 
  • Thanks for sharing!

Joshua Cooper, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.