Tuesday, September 25, 2018

How To Correct "Stretched" or Gauged Earlobes

Gauged earlobes have exploded in popularity in the last 20 years, but this phenomenon is far from new – men and women have stretched their earlobes for thousands of years! Today, youth often stretch their earlobes as a form of a fashion statement, and to associate themselves with a unique style. What’s more – everybody’s doing it – young girls, guys in metal bands, and grown men. Notables such as Travie McCoy may have popularized the trend recently, but even statues of the adorned Buddha reveal Buddha had stretched – and possibly gauged – earlobes.  

As this trend has grown, so has the removal process. Simply removing a gauge will not fix a gauged earlobe – the gauging process stretches the skin in a manner that makes it impossible for the earlobe to return to its original shape. Many choose to correct their gauged earlobes because they want to send a different message about themselves to their community, their employer, and their kids. The process is relatively safe and simple, as far as plastic surgeries go.  

First Steps – Choose Your Surgeon 

If you’ve decided you want your gauged earlobes corrected, then your first step should be to seek out a licensed plastic surgeon. A great thing about plastic surgery is that you have your choice among doctors – when seeking emergency care, you really don’t. Take time to choose a surgeon that will perform a quality procedure, that understands your goals of cosmetic surgery, and that leaves minimal scarring without emptying your wallet.  

At a minimum, choose a doctor certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. This ensures that your doctor is trained to specifically conduct cosmetic surgeries. Check the doctor’s website for information on postdoctoral training, and for their educational credentials. Once you have found a great match, ask for before and after pictures of patients that have already corrected gauged earlobes. Finally, schedule an initial consultation, where you can get to know your doctor and feel comfortable in their hands.  


Costs vary per patient, depending on the size of the gauge, and the ease of repair. Financing packages are available. To determine the cost of an earlobe corrective procedure, please call Dr. Roland at (212) 744-9400 to schedule an initial consultation.  

Initial Consultation 

At an initial consultation, your doctor will examine your earlobe and tell you their plan to correct it, which may vary depending on the size of the hole. If there is still tissue in the ear, the procedure will be simpler, however if not, the procedure can still often be completed in less than half a day. Your doctor should also discuss the risks of this surgery. Risks of correcting gauged earlobes may include bruising, asymmetry of the ears, and light scarring. Cosmetic risks can often be corrected with a future procedure.  


The surgery is quick – in many cases under an hour per earlobe. The surgeon first applies a local anesthetic before incision, so the process is pain-free. The surgeon will make several incisions to correct the lobe, will spend time perfecting the shape of the lobe, and will suture up the incision. After that, a dressing and ointment may be applied to the wound to stimulate healing.  
Results are visible immediately, and many patients are shocked at the quickness of earlobe correction procedures. One week to two weeks later, the patient will return for a check-up to ensure proper healing, and the sutures may be removed.  

After Surgery  

Patients may see a small scar down the middle of the earlobe after surgery, which is common. Many patients would prefer a small scar over a gauged earlobe, so the scar becomes trivial. Over time, the scar may fade. It is important to not re-gauge your earlobes in the future, as doing so will open a particularly sensitive area, and could cause irreversible damage to the earlobe. Simple piercings, however, are often fine.  

Dr. Donald Roland is an American Board of Plastic Surgery certified plastic surgeon in New York City. Dr. Roland performs an array of cosmetic procedures, including breast surgery, body contouring, buttocks augmentations, facial plastic surgery such as otoplasty procedure in NYC 


  1. This was a very interesting article. Thanks for all of the great information on this.

  2. I have had friends who said they were checking into having this done . So many wore heavy ear rings when they were young now they wanted to have it repaired. Great information to help know what to do.


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