Repair of the earlobe is done for a range of conditions from a tear caused by an ear ring, stretching of the earlobe from gauging to traumatic injuries. The small size of the earlobe allows even complex repairs to be done under local anesthesia as an office procedure in most cases.
The after care instructions for earlobe repairs and reconstructions are as follows:
1. Earlobe repairs, whether a simple split repair or a more complete reconstruction, are associated with a minimal amount of pain in the first few days after surgery. Usually narcotic pain medications are not needed and Tylenol or Ibuprofen are sufficient.
2. There may be a small dressing (tape or bandaid) placed over the earlobes for the first 12 to 24 hours if the earlobe has significant reconstruction. Its purpose is to catch any oozing that may occur right after surgery. (usually there isn’t but as a precaution) It may be removed the next day. In smaller earlobe repairs there is no dressing used over the sutures.
3. A light layer of antibiotic ointment needs to be applied to the sutures on the earlobes three times per day to keep them moisturized. This is done whether removeable or dissolveable sutures are used.
4. If permanent sutures are used, they will be removed by Dr. Eppley in 10 to 14 days after surgery.
5. You may shower, wash your face and shave (men) the next day. There is no harm is getting them wet with soap and water.
6. Do not pull on your earlobes or wear clip-on ear rings for up to one month after the procedure. Re-piercing your ears should wait at least 6 to 8 weeks after the earlobe repair.
7. You may wear eyeglasses or sunglasses after the procedure.
8. There are no activity restrictions after the surgery. You may exercise at any level at which you feel comfortable.
9. You may drive right after the procedure. Since most earlobe repairs are performed under local anesthesia, many patients drive themselves to and from the facility.
10. If any redness, tenderness, or drainage develops from the earlobe after the first week of surgery, call Dr. Eppley and have your pharmacy number ready.