Earlobe Repair/Piercing | Newport Beach | La Jolla, San Diego | Tim Sayed, MD, FACS

Earlobe Repair/Piercing

Earlobe Repair & Piercing – San Diego

Properly fitting earrings are part of everyday beauty for many patients. Special events call for bringing out your finest set, and even a small stud can add character to your look. However, with chronic use of earrings, especially hoops and large, heavy settings, earlobes can get stretched and pulled. In some cases, a piercehole can pull all the way through and make the ear look like it has a cleft. This can make it impossible to actually fit an earring (other than a clip-on), limiting a patient’s wardrobe choices and even causing significant embarrassment. In addition, some patients want a first or an additional piercing, or have had modifications to the earlobe that they want reversed. Dr. Sayed can help you improve the appearance of your earlobes in many ways.

Some of the options available for improvement and correction of earlobes include:

  • Reducing a large hanging earlobe
  • Repairing a partial or complete tear of the piercehole
  • Piercing (first, second or multiple piercings)
  • Repair of modified earlobes (hoop earlobes, etc.)
  • Removal of cysts or lumps in the earlobe
  • Correction of a pixie ear deformity after prior facelift

Earlobe procedures are usually done under local anesthesia with sterile technique. Dr. Sayed uses a special method to repair torn earlobes that can prevent you from having to be re-pierced, by preserving just the right amount of your original piercehole. Some surgeons just sew up the tear and have you come back for another piercing; while there is nothing wrong with that approach, Dr. Sayed feels a slight modification can avoid the second procedure and make for even happier patients.


View real patient before & after results in our photo gallery.

Earlobe Procedure FAQ’s

Some of our selection criteria to include you or your child as an earlobe procedure candidate include:

  • A torn earlobe, large earlobe, pixie ear after facelift, hoop ear, excess or inadequate piercings, desire for first piercing
  • General good health
  • Nonsmoker or willing to commit to NO NICOTINE IN ANY FORM for at least 3 weeks preop and for the duration of your recovery (obviously this is not applicable to most school-aged kids)
  • Willingness to follow instructions strictly in order to optimize healing

Each earlobe can be repaired in about 20 minutes including the time it takes to numb the ear. Piercings take only a few minutes. Reduction of a large earlobe or correction of a pixie ear may take 20-30 minutes or so per ear.

Most otoplasties are performed under local anesthesia in the office. We may ask you to bring in stud earrings in one week after your repair, which we will sterilize and then place into the piercehole. New piercings can usually wear the new stud for 6 weeks and then change it out for other earrings of choice. Modified earlobes, pixie ear repairs and earlobe reductions may require a couple of weeks of healing. Dr. Sayed gives a 24 hour phone number to all patients who can reach him for urgent questions, and we also issue access to a patient engagement application that allows the patient or companion/caregiver to send SMS messages, photos, video and other content to our team in a secure, private digital format. This keeps us mutually informed on your recovery and allows us to update your instructions while requiring a respectful number of face-to-face visits in the office.

Early postop recovery findings can include ear bruising and swelling, mild discomfort, a small amount of drainage, dryness, and some mental adjustment to the process of healing which most patients undergo. Usually the majority of swelling subsides within a couple of days and bruising is either resolved or easily concealed within 7-10 days. If you have Dr. Sayed’s stent technique for repair of a torn earlobe, you will be asked to wear a special device in the piercehole for a week. This will be replaced with a stud earring that you obtain which we can place with sterile technique.

We ask that the patient abstain from exercise for 2 weeks and then return to light fitness routines after that. Dr. Sayed and his team provide close postop care in the office and with our remote engagement tools. You will be asked to take some supplement medications to aid in your recovery, which may include medications fo pain, bruising, swelling, and dietary optimization.

Motivated patients who follow instructions usually have a nice result with a well-shaped earlobe that has durable piercings (depending on the procedure performed), which may be permanent improvements. Patients at risk for recurring problems with the earlobes include smokers, patients with healing and immune system compromise, those that wear very heavy earrings routinely, and those with tissues thinned out from multiple procedures.

  • Have a reasonable expectation of what the procedure can accomplish
  • Look at before and after photos and understand what kinds of techniques may be employed
  • Don’t expose the patient to smoke or nicotine in any form for at least 3 weeks and ideally longer before (and after) surgery
  • Stay well rested and well hydrated and eat a nutritious diet balanced with plenty of protein
  • Obtain sterilizable earrings prior to your one week postop visit if you had a piercehole repair
  • Plan on staying out of sports for 10-14 days

We don’t like to publish pricing as it is subject to market changes and dependent on the types of procedures you consider. Review our Pricing page to build a “wishlist” and get estimated pricing on earlobe surgery or a combination of procedures. We also have a fee schedule available in the office after your consultation. Feel free to contact our San Diego office for a pre-consultation and we are happy to provide more information. There is a range of pricing depending on whether you are seeking a simple piercing, repair of a prior piercehole tear, or a more involved procedure like an earlobe reduction or pixie ear correction.

Contact us today!

If you’re in the San Diego or Newport Beach areas and have any questions about Earlobe Repair or wish to schedule a consultation on earlobe repair with Dr. Sayed, please contact our office.