What is the better procedure for earlobe reduction, surgical knife or laser? (Photo)

I am looking to have earlobe reduction. Can you tell me anything about the scaring after the procedure. I have seen a video on youtube where a doctor uses a lazer and it looks like the better option than a surgical knife... Thanks

Doctor Answers 6

Earlobe reduction surgery: edge or wedge?

I perform earlobe reduction surgery quite frequently.  The procedure is performed with local anesthesia (lidocaine) in the office and takes about 45 minutes per ear.  There are two possible techniques:

1. Edge excision: This is the usual procedure.  It involves drawing a line exactly marking the new desired earlobe size and shape.  All tissue outside this line is removed, and the remaining skin edges are repaired, leaving a scar along the edge of the earlobe (facing neither forward nor backward) where it is generally well-concealed.  Internal sutures dissolve on their own.  The external sutures are removed about 2 weeks later.  

2. Wedge excision: This involves a vertical incision along the earlobe, leaving a vertical scar that may be more visible.  It is useful for patients who are interested in simultaneous repair of a torn earlobe or who have an attached earlobe (meaning that there is no skin hanging below the ear-cheek junction).  Suture management is the same as above.

All bandages are present for less than 24 hours.  If desired, the earlobes may be repierced at the same time. Cost for earlobe reduction is $700 per earlobe, as this is a much more involved procedure than simple earlobe repair.  I do not believe that the use of a laser would significantly enhance the outcome.

Plano Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Earlobe reduction: laser vs knife

Who is a candidate
#EarlobeReduction surgery as requested five patients who have extensively large earlobes that may be large from family traits, aging, the use of very large earrings or plugs, or previous facial surgery.

What type of anesthesia is used
Generally these procedures are performed under local anesthetic and require 15 to 30 minutes depending upon how complex the particular case is.

laser, knife, scissors can all be used.  its the experience of the surgeon that matters

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Difficult to say what is best

While surgical and laser surgery may both be options for your earlobe surgery, most experts would perform earlobe surgery using standard surgical techniques and not a laser. I hope that helps! Good luck!
Dr. Harmych

Brian Harmych, MD
Cleveland Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Earlobe Reduction

The best results are typically from surgery but it looks as if you have a nice shape and size. I would see a surgeon for a cosmetic consultation and evaluate the area for a proper long term treatment plan.  Best, Dr. Emer. 

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 190 reviews

Best Earlobe Reduction Technique

I feel that the best method for earlobe reduction is a surgical one.  In the case of the use of a laser for the procedure, the surgeon is using the laser to cut the skin and soft tissues instead of a knife.  While that seems very "advanced," there may be a disadvantage to the laser as it burns the skin and soft tissue as it cuts - potentially causing worse healing.  

Whatever method you opt for, it is important that you consider a few very important things for your earlobe reduction:
  • Choose a board certified plastic surgeon that has experience with this procedure
  • Pay close attention to wound care instructions after surgery
  • Do not smoke or use tobacco products
This is a great procedure with immediate results.  I wish you the best!

Dr. Gabbay

Joubin Gabbay, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

What is the better approach for #earlobe #reduction - scalpel or #laser?

There's nothing wrong with using a CO2 laser to create the incisions. It does minimize any potential bleeding but so does local anesthetic with adrenaline and cautery. I choose to use a scalpel as I think the incisions are more precise than with the laser. In the end, the incisions from an earlobe reduction are hidden on the back of the earlobe itself and not visible. I would defer to the technique favored by your chosen surgeon. If they do a great job it shouldn't make a difference whether they use a laser or surgical steel. I hope this information is helpful for you.

Stephen Weber MD, FACS
Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon

Stephen Weber, MD, FACS
Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 129 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.