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Corrective surgery – Ears

corrective ear surgery for stretched lobes

Corrective surgery on the ears usually includes pinning protruding ears or to correct stretched ear lobes (ear gauging).

What is ear gauging?

Piercing the body is an ancient practice. From lips and ears to more sensitive body areas, the fascination with inserting objects through the skin is long standing. One on from piercing is gauging, inserting hoops, bars or cones for either decorative or spiritual reasons. The object starts small and is replaced with slightly larger items to gradually stretch the opening.

This practice of stretching skin on the body has it’s roots in tribes all over the world from Asia to Africa for various reasons but over the last couple of decades it has been used as a fashion accessory or for self expression in much the same way as tattoos and piercings.


Stretching can be continued until the hole is very large, as long as it is done gradually there should be no tearing or ‘blow out’. However if the hole in the ear is too large, the natural elasticity of the skin is pushed past it’s limit. Once this limit has been passed there is little chance that the hole will repair itself and return to it’s pre-stretched size. Over 6mm is usually the point of no return.

Although this procedure is popular, once the novelty of plugged ears wears off, the decision is often regretted as a large sagging earlobe remains.


What can be done to correct ear gauging?

The corrective procedure takes a short time to perform and involves cutting the excess skin, removing it, and suturing the ends together forming a neat earlobe shape with a small amount of scarring.

How long does the operation take?

For one earlobe the procedure takes around 30 minutes to complete and is carried out under general anaesthetic.

What is the cost?

Around about £500 for one ear lobe.


As with any surgical procedure the wound needs to be kept clean and protected for a few days afterwards, once the healing has begun, general care needs to be employed to prevent any infection from taking hold.

Any further ear gauging should be avoided – where the skin has been stretched previously, further stretching would most likely cause the ear lobe to split in two.

Elaine Sassoon is now offering this procedure to her patients – call for an appointment and Elaine can give you more information and a cost for the operation.