Ear Surgery – Otoplasty

Repairing Your Earlobe

In Calgary, you see all kinds of earrings; they’re a popular fashion accessory for the face. Big hoops, heavy danglers, even gauges — they all are saying something about the wearer’s style. Unfortunately, your earlobes didn’t get to vote on your choices for ear adornment. As a result, they can be torn, stretched, or otherwise damaged by your earring choices. Dr. Frank performs otoplasty, ear surgery, to repair patient’s earlobes.

How are earlobes damaged?

There are two ways the earlobe usually becomes torn or overly stretched: trauma or by wearing heavy, large earrings.

Trauma can happen by catching an earring on clothing, your brush, even on bushes when out walking. If you pick up a small child, he or she might grab that shiny earring right in front of their eyes. The earring can tear right through the bottom of the lobe, or it can stretch the piercing to a degree it won’t close up.

Weight or diameter is the other cause. Today many earrings have become heavier and larger. The problem with this is that the weight can pull down and enlarge the original earring piecing to the degree it is visible to others.

Earrings are also growing in diameter, the ultimate example being gauges. Gauges are discs placed in the earlobe. If left in place long enough, when these gauges are removed the hole they created cannot close up and will need surgery to do so.

Who is a candidate for earlobe repair?

Obviously, candidates for this surgery have torn or elongated piecing tracts. The tears can be partial or complete — that doesn’t change the procedure to repair them.

These injuries don’t have to be recent to be repaired. If the patient, for instance, split her earlobe and was hoping it would heal on its own, yet it hasn’t, she can come to Dr. Frank and he can still repair it. The only difference is that he will have to remove the healed skin at the tear.

How is earlobe repair performed?

This is not a difficult procedure. Dr. Frank first injects local anesthetic into the lobe and surrounding ear. Next, to ensure the skin will heal back together, Dr. Frank cuts away the healed skin on the inside of the torn earlobe.

Once the healed skin has been removed, Dr. Frank will suture the two sides back together. He is careful with his placement of the sutures to not create a “pointed” end result.

Do you have a damaged earlobe? Call Dr. Frank at (403) 245-1228 to set up a consultation to repair it.

What to Expect from Cosmetic Ear Surgery (Otoplasty)

ear surgeryEar surgery, (otoplasty is the medical term)  is a cosmetic procedure to improve the appearance of the ears. Otoplasty does not affect hearing, and provides significant psychological benefits to anyone who is teased about ear size and/or shape, has had a serious ear injury, or simply wants to improve his or her appearance. Ear surgery is most often performed to set unusually protruding ears closer to the head (ear pinning) or to reduce the size of abnormally large ears.

Candidates for Ear Surgery

People of any age who feel self-conscious about their ears may be good candidates for otoplasty, although it is typically performed on children between 5 and 14 years old. Ears are almost fully developed by the of age 5, so early surgery can help create self-confidence when a child begins going to school. Not everyone is a candidate for otoplasty; a patient must be in good general health, and have realistic expectations of what it can do.


Otoplasty generally takes 2 -3 hours, and is performed on an outpatient basis. The type of anesthesia used typically depends on the age of the patient, with general anesthesia recommended for very young patients, and local anesthesia with or without a sedative is recommended for older children and adults.

Incisions are placed in the natural folds and creases of the ear to reduce visibility. After the procedure is complete, bandages will be applied to assist in he healing process and to aid the reshaped cartilage from reverting to its original form. Bandages are not to be removed until Dr. Frank has instructed the patient to do so, and healing is complete.


Although the ears may ache or throb for a few days, patients usually feel normal within hours of the surgery’s completion. Medication is prescribed to help alleviate any discomfort.  Otoplasty patients should avoid sleeping on their sides for the first 2 weeks after surgery, and are instructed to wear a toque/headband for the first month following the procedure.  About 1 week following otoplasty, most patients are able to return to their normal routines.

Associated Risks

Complications of otoplasty are rare and usually minor. Some patients report a change in skin sensation, which generally resolves itself overtime. There is a small possibility that a patient may be unsatisfied with their results following surgery – Dr. Frank will do everything in his power to make his patients happy and is very reasonable when it comes to the need for revisions.   Patients should not expect ears to be completely symmetrical because this does not occur naturally. Slight variances between the appearance of ears is expected.

Otoplasty in Calgary

If you are interested in otoplasty, or would like to learn more about any of the other cosmetic surgery procedures we offer, contact Dr. Frank today. We can be reached at (403) 245-1228. We look forward to hearing from you!

Ear Surgery FAQ

ear surgeryEar surgery, also known as otoplasty, can correct a variety of aesthetic conditions with a relatively short downtime compared to other cosmetic procedures.

To find out more about ear surgery and what it can do for you, check out the below FAQ:

What makes ears appear larger than average?

There are several factors that make ears look larger or more prominent. Firstly, the projection of one’s ears, or how far they “stick out”, can make them more noticeable and make a person feel self-conscious about their appearance.

Others have ears that are larger in size in relation to their head and facial features. Both of these conditions can be hereditary, but can be easily resolved through otoplasty. However, patients should be aware that otoplasty will not change one’s hearing.

My ears seem to be getting bigger. Can otoplasty fix this?

Over time, even though most of our facial features have reached their full development in adulthood, cartilage and skin in the nose and ears can continue to grow, change and elongate. This is a natural part of aging, and can be influenced by genetics, gravity and earrings.

For example, wearing large, heavy earrings takes its toll on your earlobes over time, causing them to stretch downward, and the pierced hole itself can also become stretched out and extended. Otoplasty can decrease the size of the earlobes and diminish the appearance of large creases and wrinkles.

What other conditions can otoplasty correct?

Along with resetting prominent, protruding ears closer to the head and reducing the size of large ears, otoplasty can also be beneficial in addressing the conditions such as lop ear, or when the top of the ear folds downward or inward, and cupped ear – when the ears are too small in relation to the head.

Another condition that otoplasty can correct is called shell ear, or when certain normal features of the ear are missing. For example, there can be a lack of an outer curve in the cartilage, which makes the ear look malformed. Ear surgery can also correct torn earlobes or ears that are misshapen due to an injury. Dr. Frank also constructs new ears for patients who are missing them from injury or other causes.


Ear Surgery in Calgary

If you are interested in otoplasty or would like to learn more about any of the other cosmetic surgery procedures we offer, contact us today. We can be reached at (403) 245-1228. We look forward to hearing from you!


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