The Surgeon Minute

Earlobe Reduction: A Quick Fix for “Grandma Ears”

Earlobe Reduction: A Quick Fix for “Grandma Ears”

It seems no feature escapes the aging process, and that includes earlobes.  We can blame heavy earrings or curse heredity, but dangling, elongated, floppy lobes are associated with old age. Dr. Christine Hamori has found that few patients visiting her practice are aware that earlobe reduction is even an option. “As women get into their 40’s and 50’s, drooping earlobes bring their whole face down. Sometimes their piercing hole is almost at the bottom of the lobe. Patients are interested in hearing that there definitely is a pretty simple way of reducing earlobes surgically.”

by Isabel Bolt
and Christine Hamori, MD

“Lobe-plasty”, usually done in conjunction with a facelift, is now gaining popularity as a stand-alone procedure.  “Detached” lobes can be “attached,” prominent lobes can be made smaller and elongated lobes can be shortened– all with the intent of making the earlobes more proportionate to the size of the ear and shape of the face. “It’s a subtle but definite enhancement in appearance,” says Dr. Hamori. “It is amazing how much more youthful the face can look when dangling earlobes are corrected.”

Erase Years in Under an Hour

Earlobe reduction is an office procedure done under local anesthetic. The techniques used will depend upon your specific anatomy. If there is simply extra earlobe tissue, an incision is made along the bottom edge of the earlobe. That soft tissue is removed and repaired. If the lobe is very wide, a wedge-shaped incision may be necessary which creates a thin vertical scar, narrowing and shortening the overall lobe. According to Dr. Hamori, it takes less than an hour and there are no bandages. “You will have dissolving sutures in place and might want to wear a bit of concealer to cover the pinkness. In most cases, stitches will be along the very bottom of the lobe and heal within 2 weeks.” She advises re-piercing 6 weeks post-op.

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Dr. Hamori emphasizes that incisions must be carefully placed to minimize any potential scarring. “It’s important that the stitches are carefully done so the scar is smooth and inconspicuous. Make sure you are in the hands of a well-trained, board certified plastic surgeon.” Noticeable scarring is difficult to improve as are overly reduced earlobes. A good surgeon will also strive for symmetry of both the left and right lobes. You don’t want the “correction” to bother you more than your original concern.

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Subtle, but Significant

Dr. Hamori finds her post-op “lobe” patients to be delighted. “People want to look trim. Some are wearing their hair shorter as they get older. Some like to put their hair up without feeling self-conscious. It’s one of the little known tips to help women look younger.”

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