Most of us are familiar with the common signs of aging — wrinkles around the mouth and eyes, sagging neck lines and droopy eyelids. You might also notice that your ear lobes are getting longer with age. Many people will say that your nose and ears continue to grow throughout your life, and while it might look that way because your nose and ears do get longer, it’s not because they’re growing. What’s happening is the effect of gravity. Our nose and ears are made of cartilage, which is made of collagen and other fibers that break down with age and start to droop.
There are other factors at play in the shape of ear lobes as well. Years of wearing big, heavy earrings can pull down on the ear lobes and cause them to stretch and sag. The shape of our ear lobes is also attributed in part to genetics.
Self Conscious About Your Ears
If you’re self conscious about the appearance of your ears, or have started having trouble wearing earrings because of the way they hang on your ears, you might be a good candidate for ear lobe reshaping, or lobuloplasty. This procedure is done for cosmetic reasons as well as to repair a torn ear lobe, which can happen in sports injuries or an accidental pull of an earring. Ear lobes are prone to tearing because they are soft and pliable, so injuries are fairly common. This type of surgery is also routinely performed on children for aesthetic concerns present at birth.
A lobuloplasty is usually an outpatient surgery and can be done relatively quickly, anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour depending on the patient. To perform the procedure the patient is given a local anesthesia. An incision is made in the crease behind the ear so it remains inconspicuous. If a patient is also looking to plump up a deflated ear lobe, fat can be grafted into the lobes at this time as well.
Patients are usually able to drive themselves home after the procedure and can resume light activities that day or the next.
If you’re interested in learning more about a lobuloplasty or would like to come in for a consultation, call Piedmont Facial Plastic Surgery Center at 336-768-3361. We can schedule an appointment with our board certified plastic surgeon.