Torn Earlobe Repair

Torn Earlobe repair is offered at our convenient location in New Jersey

Torn earlobe before repair

Repair of Torn Earlobes at the Vanish Center in New Jersey

Whether your earlobe is torn, partially split, or stretched, you don’t have to live with it. Earlobe repair surgery is now performed quickly and safely in our office in Florham Park, NJ with no downtime. Torn earlobes are relatively common among women. A torn earlobe can extend all the way through the bottom of the earlobe (complete) or stretch the earlobe piercing without tearing through the bottom (partial). The good news is that both complete and partial tears can be repaired with a minor procedure. Repairing a torn earlobe is performed in the office with a sterile environment under local anesthesia. The process takes 30-45 minutes with no downtime!

How Do Earlobes Tear?

Earlobe tears can happen due to various reasons. They can happen suddenly from trauma or gradually over time from heavy earrings.


Split earlobes commonly occur when a child or pet suddenly grabs an earring and pulls on it; or when danglers get caught in clothing or hair while pulling a dress or shirt over the head. The tear may happen suddenly or gradually over time with repeated trauma. Other reasons for torn earlobes include physical altercations, traumas, or even sports.

Heavy Earrings

Partially split earlobes commonly occur in those who regularly wear heavy earrings. The weight of the earrings, sometimes combined with a reaction to the metal, may cause the piercing to lengthen with time. People with thin earlobes are more prone to stretching. Long-term use of heavy earrings can ultimately result in a complete tear.


Earlobe gauging is the practice of placing large-gauge plugs instead of earrings in ear piercings to purposely stretch the holes. This practice results in severely stretched and altered earlobes. For more information regarding ear gauging visit our page here

Prevention of Torn Earlobes

If stretching of the ear piercing is detected early, you can prevent further stretching or tearing by avoiding heavy earrings and switching to studs or clip-on earrings. Once the piercing is stretched or torn more than a minimal amount, you should have a consultation with an experienced facial surgeon to discuss preventative measures and treatment options. Once the earlobes are severely stretched or torn, they will need to be repaired by an experienced facial surgeon.

Torn earlobe repair procedures performed at the Vanish Center in NJ

Earlobe repair procedures are commonly performed for all types of earlobe abnormalities. Whether an earlobe is stretched, torn completely, or partially, or if a piece of the earlobe is missing, repair can be performed in the office. Repair is performed in the office in a sterile environment and takes around 30-45 minutes.

The earlobe is first cleaned with antibacterial solution and sterile drapes are placed around the area. Local anesthesia is injected and the earlobe then becomes numb. Removal of scar tissue and skin that has grown over the tear is completed and the skin and subcutaneous elements of the ear are then approximated with sutures. The skin and scar can be removed using a scalpel, radiofrequency device, or laser.

Radiofrequency Repair Techniques

At the Vanish Center located in Florham Park, New Jersey, we use a special radiofrequency device to perform a torn earlobe repair. A radio-wave micro-needle to remove the tissue along the sides of the tear, in an almost completely bloodless fashion. This makes the procedure faster and more accurate while providing less postoperative swelling, pain, and bruising because there is no bleeding.

Minimally Stretched Piercings

If the stretching is small enough, just a circle of tissue along the inside surface of the piercing is removed and the tissue edges are approximated with a few sutures. If the stretching is almost torn through, the earlobe may need to be sectioned completely and treated like a completely torn earlobe in order to better realign the tissues after removal of the skin edges.

Completely Torn Earlobes

For completely torn earlobes, all of the tissue lining the inside surface of the tear is removed with an Ellman radiofrequency device in a bloodless fashion. Following this, a small suture is placed to line up the outer edge of the earlobe first, this is the critical stitch to place. Next, the deep tissues and remaining skin of the earlobe are aligned with multiple sutures placed on the front and back of the earlobe. The sutures may be resorbable or non-resorbable, depending on the particular situation. If resorbable sutures are placed, they will dissolve and fall out on their own. Non-resorbable sutures will require removal at the follow-up visit. Most of the time, If the patient wishes, the ear can be re-pierced at the time of the repair (but this depends on the surgeon’s discretion and the severity of the tear).

Gauged ears

Gauged ears produce earlobes that are purposely stretched with special stretching devices. The stretching process creates redundant earlobe tissue and requires a different type of repair to restore normal anatomy to the earlobe. For a full discussion on Earlobe gauging and repair please read our article here.

What to expect after repair of your torn earlobes?

A small bandage may be placed over the surgical area to protect it during the healing period. Generally, no downtime is required, and you can resume light activities right after leaving the office. However, you do need to follow specific instructions to care for the wound. While you may resume your normal day-to-day activities, you may be advised to avoid showering and exercising for 24 hours. After 24 hours, you may take a shower and perform light exercises while taking care to avoid any kind of trauma or rubbing to the earlobe. It is essential to keep the area clean and dry at all times; however, be gentle and avoid scrubbing the area. If non-resorbable sutures are placed, they need to be removed in 5-10 days. After three weeks of healing, a light massage of the scar two times each day can be beneficial.

Recovery after torn earlobe repair

Recovery after earlobe surgery is relatively easy. The site typically heals very well with minimal scarring, however, as with any surgery, there will always be some evidence of a scar, but it should be small and a significant improvement from the pre-surgery appearance.

Caring for your ears properly while they heal is vital to prevent future stretching and scarring. You must keep out of the sun or always wear SPF 35+ sunblock for at least six months after the procedure in order to prevent darkening of the scar. Though most people may get their ears pierced at the time of surgery or after the initial healing phase, you may need to wait a minimum of 3 months before wearing normal earrings again. Wearing earrings before complete healing of the tissue may result in pain, irritation, and damage to the earlobes. Instead, it is wise to consult your doctor for a follow-up examination before attempting to wear your earrings, as they can advise you if you are ready to take this step.

You do not have to live with torn or stretched earlobes. Treatment is quickly and safely performed in the office with a bloodless technique resulting in no downtime. Call the Vanish Center located in Florham Park, New Jersey and schedule a consultation to discuss the repair of your torn earlobes.