Earlobe Guages are not uncommon in the late teen and early 20 age categories. The problem is, as this age group starts to leave school and enter the business world, law enforcement, or military, the guages need to go and the earlobe is left fairly deformed.
Repair for smaller guages is pretty easy. I can treat those like a typical split earlobe. The repair is done in the office, under local anesthesia, in 10-15 minutes. The stitches come out in a week and your problem is gone.
Some larger guages, those in the 1-2″ category are a bigger challenge. These repairs are trickier and I find they are best carried out in an O.R. Because the problem is more complex, the repair can take 30-40 minutes per side, anesthesia is more of an issue, and because we are in an OR, the cost is much higher. A normal lobe contour is also harder to achieve because in some cases the lobe is so stretched and the anatomy so distorted, normal becomes a stretch. But, the repair can be done and though “perfect” may not be feasible, a near-normal lobe shape is a reasonable expectation.
Lee Corbett, MD