Earlobe Reduction Surgery

By: Dr. Sean Kelishadi, M.D. FACS


Ear lobe surgery has recently been with a 96% “Worth it” rating on Realself for 2015.

Why has this procedure grown so popular amongst the millennials and Gen-yers? In 2011, BBC addressed the growing trend of “Ear stretching” and why this is a flourishing trend. Ear stretching is nothing new in the world of culture and goes back a long way; however, in previous years there has been a rise in punk culture, to not conform to the status quo. “It's pushing my body to its limit and I love the way it looks. I think they look amazing on people” writes a model from Essex in the United Kingdom.

In the United States, approximately 34% of people aged 18 to 50 years have pierced ears.

(1) In 2013, more than 40,000 patients received cosmetic ear surgery,(2) including a segment seeking correction of partial or complete clefts of the earlobe due to trauma or heavy earrings.

With young adults advocating so vigorously for their right to be different, why is ear reduction surgery making its mark in cosmetic surgery offices this year?  “I used to have 5/8 lobes, took those suckers out and grew up.” Says a blogger from the hipster forum. It turns out the same millennials that fought for their individuality in their late teen to early adult years seem to be fighting to fit into corporate America.

The difficulty associated with large gauge piercings are the circular defect frequently larger than 5mm, leaving only a small portion of the inferior rim of the lobule intact. Consequently, the increased demand for correction of dilated ear lobule deformity presents a challenge for plastic and reconstructive surgeons that is unique from the repair of the linear cleft ear deformity.

Although ear lobe surgery may seem like a modern day solution to a hipster trend, earlobe reduction has been been around a very long time in the world of plastic and reconstructive surgery. In 1954, McLaren was the first to document repair of earlobe clefts using a simple linear closure under general anesthesia. Since then, many others have gone on to describe a variety of different techniques for the repair of partial cleft earlobe deformities due to elongation of the piercing, often secondary to gravity or trauma.

An innovative approach for repair of partial clefts was proposed by Reiter and Alford, who described a method using a “parallel opposed flap”; this technique creates a flap on the anterior medial surface and the posterior lateral surface, pulling each flap through the cleft and suturing the flaps at the raw exposed areas. This technique is suitable for smaller defects but less reliable for large dilations of the lobule where less local tissue is available to create flaps.

At SSK Plastic Surgery, we helped develop a new technique, “The Double Opposing Linear Repair” for the most challenging of ear piercing ailments, The Gauge Ear Deformity. Our ability to handle this problem along with any others due to ear piercing has made us a premier Orange County Ear Lobe Repair destination.

There are several innovative techniques that have been developed by many skilled Orange County plastic surgeons over the last few decades.

The success of rising plastic and reconstructive surgery techniques for ear lobe surgery is due to the ingenuity and dedication of surgeons all over the world.

If you have questions regarding earlobe surgery cost, and you are in the marketing for Plastic Surgeons in Orange County, please contact us today to receive an accurate estimate, and we will be more than happy to answer any questions about the procedure and the technique  that works best for you.

1. Laumann AE, Derick AJ. Tattoos and body piercings in the United States: a national data set. J Am Acad

Dermatol. 2006;55(3):413-21.

2. Cosmetic Surgery National Data Bank: Statistics, 2013. The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery

website. http://www.surgery.org/media/statistics. Accessed April 1, 2014.

Stretched Ear
* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.