Ear lobe surgery is a relatively simple procedure that usually results in few complications. Usually an outpatient surgery, ear lobe repair typically takes one hour and is done under local anesthesia. The manner of ear lobe surgery required is contingent on the extent of the injury to the ear lobe. Outer ear surgery sessions are fairly inexpensive and may be covered by a patient’s insurance. Recovery times after ear lobe surgery are quick compared to other cosmetic surgeries.
People with large, protruding ears or ear lobes may choose to have an otoplasty. This surgery is typically considered cosmetic rather than necessary; most insurers will not cover the costs for this surgery. During an otoplasty, the ear or earlobe is either reconfigured or reduced in size. Patients having this type of ear lobe surgery should expect mild discomfort and will not be able to sleep on their side for a week to avoid placing pressure on the surgically altered ear. A small scar will develop at the site of the incision, however this is not noticeable to the human eye and will usually blend in with the contours of the surrounding area of skin.
If the ear lobe is torn, a procedure known as lobuloplasty must be performed. This type of ear lobe surgery usually is less convoluted than the reshaping of an ear, but does require similar precautions and downtime. The torn ear lobe is reconstructed using medical sutures that hold tissues together. After a week, the sutures are removed and the skin should have merged. Local anesthesia numbs the ear before the surgery and the patient is usually awake during the procedure.
Unlike otoplasties, a torn ear lobe usually requires immediate medical attention. Therefore, most insurers will cover the cost of such a procedure. Areas that come in contact with a surgically repaired ear lobe should be sanitized to prevent infections. Three months after ear lobe surgery, the ear lobe can be pierced again, although doctors advise against the wearing of heavy jewelry that may place too much strain on the newly formed tissues.
Physical activities such as swimming and other athletic endeavors may be resumed within a month following ear lobe surgery. However, precautionary headgear should be won for wrestlers and practitioners of other contact sports where the ear lobe may be prone to injury. The only medicine prescribed post-operation is antibiotics. Pain is minimal and doctors will not write prescriptions for pain medications that are commonly used following a surgically invasive procedure.