Reasons Why You Should Repair those Gauged Ears

Jul 27th, 2017No Comments

A piece of jewelry that fits into a stretched earlobe hole. Man with ear tunnel. Male ear with a ring

Self-expression comes in many forms, and the fashion and makeup industry certainly reflect that. However, some people prefer other, more permanent forms of expression, which include piercings, tattoos, and in recent years, ear gauging. If you’ve gauged your ears, but you’re not sure you want to keep them the way they are for your entire life, it’s time to consider surgical repair.

What are Ear Gauges?

Ear gauges are used to “stretch” a typical piercing for an earring to a variety of sizes. Some ear gauges are quite small – about a few millimeters across – but others can be an inch or more in diameter. Often, people use ear gauges as a means of self-expression, but later decide to revert their earlobes back to their normal size. Unfortunately, in some cases, this is impossible. The stretching required to fit the gauges essentially destroys the tissues inside the earlobe, which heal around the gauges themselves and make it virtually impossible for the lobe to go back to normal.

Commonly Cited Reasons for Gauge Reversal

More and more often, plastic surgeons across the country are seeing patients who are interested in repairing their stretched, gauged earlobes. Some of the reasons these patients have include:

  • The end of the trend. Some of the people who ask for reversal surgery say they got the gauges when it was trendy, but decided against them a few years later when the trend wasn’t quite as big. While it’s possible to simply remove a piercing and regain a relatively “normal” appearance, they can’t do this with gauges.  
  • They cannot find work in their field. Another common reason has to do with employment opportunities. People often gauge their ears during their younger years, then discover that they can’t find the jobs they want after college.  
  • They just don’t like the way it looks anymore. Most patients who seek repair surgeries for their gauged ears claim they just aren’t pleased with the way it looks and they want to go back to a normal appearance.  
  • Their peers view them differently. In some cases, people change their circle of friends, whether they’ve gotten a new job or moved to a new town. They feel that the gauges make their peers view them in a light that doesn’t suit them, so they want to have them reversed.  
  • They’ve “outgrown” the form of expression. There are some cases in which the patients’ personalities have changed as they’ve grown older and they feel their gauged ears no longer “fit” their personal sense of style.

Reversal of Ear Gauges

Plastic surgeons refer to the appearance of the ear following the removal of gauges a “dilated earlobe”, and the surgery used to repair this appearance is often referred to as “dilated earlobe repair”. It’s a relatively simple procedure that a trained facial plastic surgeon can do in-office with only local anesthetic in a matter of minutes. The recovery time is very short – usually only a few days at most – and patients can return to their normal activities relatively quickly. Patients should keep in mind that surgeons will work hard to restore as much normalcy to the lobe as possible, but depending on the size of the dilation, the ear may not look exactly like it did before the gauges, even in the most capable hands.

Ear gauges are still quite the statement, and there are people around the world who continue to do it to express themselves. While ears that have been only slightly dilated may repair themselves on their own with time, the only way to repair a significant dilation is with a quick surgical procedure.

Written by Dr. Jeffrey Spiegel

The office of Dr. Jeffrey Spiegel, Advanced Facial Aesthetics located in Boston, MA offers a variety of cosmetic surgery procedures and treatments including Botox, FFS, Rhinoplasty and many others. Call 617-566-3223 or email us at Google+

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