Ear & Earlobe Surgery
Ears are usually considered to be functional organs, not beautiful ones! Once we have chosen our earrings or other jewelry for the day, most people rarely consider the appearance of our ears or the impact they have on the harmony and beauty of our facial contours. Yet the ears are aesthetically complex, extremely delicate, and surprisingly susceptible to injury, and for individuals who are dissatisfied with the size and/or shape of their ears, or whose ears have suffered a tear or injury, the aesthetic impact can be devastating.
Las Vegas board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Richard Bryson offers a full range of cosmetic ear surgery options, ranging from a relatively simple earlobe repair to a more complex otoplasty (“ear pinning” or “ear reshaping”). A well-trained and experienced plastic surgeon, Dr. Richards has both the knowledge of advanced surgical techniques and the artistic talent required to ensure that this highly visible area of your body blends harmoniously and gracefully with your other features and enhances the natural balance and beauty of your facial contours.
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Torn or Split Earlobes
When considering the size and shape of earrings and other jewelry, most people rarely stop to consider the fact that the earlobes consist only of soft skin and a small amount of fatty tissue. Excessive weight or pulling can easily damage these delicate tissues, tearing or splitting the earlobe so it becomes unattractive and unusable for the placement of jewelry. Luckily, advanced and extremely delicate surgical techniques now enable skilled surgeons such as Dr. Richards to repair torn or split earlobes relatively easily. Performed under local anesthesia using a topical numbing agent, the surgeon first gently removes any scar tissue then closes the tear in either a straight line or a zigzag, depending on the location of the tear and the anatomy of the ear, using extremely fine suture threads. The patient will be asked to apply antibiotic ointment to the repair for several days after the surgery. The ear can be pierced again after 8 weeks, but the use of heavy earrings and loops should be avoided.
Repair of Gauged Ears
Ear gauging involves stretching the thin, delicate tissues of the earlobe to accommodate a large plug. While an increasingly popular trend among teens and individuals in their 20s, the appearance of gauged ears, especially if they are very large, can be an inhibiting factor as these individuals attempt to enter the professional workforce. The surgical technique used to repair gauged ears is similar to repairing a torn lobe; in practice, however, the difficulty of restoring the earlobe to its original appearance depends heavily on the extent to which the ear has been stretched. An earlobe that has been stretched beyond half an inch may result in some visible scarring on the repaired lobe.
Also known as “ear pinning” or “ear shaping”, otoplasty is a more complex surgical procedure designed to correct the appearance of ears that are too large, protrude too much, or are misshapen due to either genetics, injury, or trauma. Otoplasty can be performed on both adults and children, although it is recommended that children be older than 6 to ensure that the ears are close to their adult size and shape.
Otoplasty is an outpatient procedure performed under general anesthesia. Working through incisions on the back of the ear or within the ear folds, Dr. Richards will reshape the ear cartilage using internal, non-removable sutures. The external incisions will then be gently and carefully sutured to avoid any tension on the skin of the face, to avoid distortion of other facial features. Although patients can resume work and gentle activities after about a week, post-operative bruising and swelling may last up to three weeks; exercise and strenuous activity should be avoided until the sutures have healed. It is important that the sutures not be subject to excessive force, motion, or abrasion, as this could cause the newly-shaped ear to heal in an incorrect position.
Contact Dr. Richards
At Dr. Bryson Richards' practice located in Las Vegas, Nevada, we strive to offer a comprehensive menu of aesthetic services designed to deliver long lasting, highly effective results while minimizing discomfort and downtime, as well as the potential for risk and complications, as much as possible. Dr. Bryson Richards is a highly skilled and experienced plastic surgeon dedicated to utilizing only the most state-of-the-art technologies and techniques, while maintaining exceptionally high standards of patient education and care at all times. Whether you are seeking non-invasive rejuvenation to enhance your youthful glow or a surgical solution to a long-standing aesthetic concern, Dr. Richards and his highly trained, fully licensed staff will work closely with you to develop a treatment approach that is custom-tailored to achieve your unique goals and enhance your unique beauty.
If you would like more information on ear surgery with Dr. Bryson Richards, or would like to learn more about our other surgical procedures and non-surgical rejuvenation techniques, we encourage you to contact our office for a consultation today. We look forward to hearing from you!