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ear-repair-surgeryWe make a lot of decisions when we are young that we will probably regret when we become adults. For this generation, one of those mistakes seems to be getting gauge earrings, which stretch out the ear lobes, creating unsightly “flesh tunnels.” FOX 17 West Michigan explores the uptick in surgeries to repair these flesh tunnels in a recent article titled “Doctors see uptick in young professionals surgically closing ‘gauged’ earlobes.”

Ann Marie LaFlamme of FOX 17 West Michigan writes, “It’s an extreme fashion statement that’s more permanent than many realize. As many people expanded the holes in their ears as teenagers, that same generation is now looking for a way to ‘fix it.’ We’re talking about expanded earlobes most commonly called ‘gauges.’ At 25-years-old Rachel Krauss is learning the painful and expensive lesson that what you do in your youth affects your future. ‘So what happens when somebody puts a gauge in their ear is over time they slowly expand beyond the natural contour of the earlobe,’ Dr. Ryan Mitchell, MD, FRCSC said. ‘It’s a process so you have to do it over time and you stretch it little by little,’ Krauss said. She’s one of many in a new wave of patients visiting Dr. Mitchell at the Bengtson Center for Aesthetics and Plastic Surgery, having her gauged earlobes repaired. ‘I think that was just kind of like the season in my life and the people I was hanging out with and it was just, that’s what we did,’ Krauss said.”

Health News Digest also tackles the subject in a recent article titled “Body Art Remorse.” Wendy Lewis of Health News Digest writes, “But today many men and women often do more than just add an extra hole or two to their lobes. ‘We are seeing more people who regret pierces in the tragus, which is the small inner ear flap, the helix of the upper, outer part of the ear, and the daith or cartilage located at the inner origin of the helix in the center of the ear, across from the ear canal,’ Dr. Williams says. Another notable trend involves people having plugs and tunnels implanted to stretch their earlobes.  ‘Many people do not realize that once they have stretched the lobe for long periods, the likelihood that it will go back to its original size gets lower with every size the lobe is stretched to. In extreme cases, this results in a deformity that requires surgical correction,’ he added.”

If you’re considering ear lobe repair surgery, you need a surgeon you can trust. Rex E. Moulton-Barrett, M.D. is internationally recognized and acknowledged. He is board certified with The American Board of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and The American Board of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.

Dr. Moulton-Barrett will determine the type of reconstruction depending on the type of tear. He will work with you to determine the best medical option that is also most aesthetically pleasing to correct your tear. Dr. Moulton-Barrett will use the injection of local anesthetic to numb the earlobe. After several hours, the anesthesia will wear off. Most patients do not require any pain medication, other than Tylenol or Advil.

If you think you could use earlobe repair surgery, contact Dr. Moulton-Barrett for a consultation.