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A weighty issue

Women love flaunting heavy danglers, but this often comes at a cost to their ears, resulting in an earlobe tear; fixing it can cost Rs.10,000 to Rs.15,000. Read on to find out what the experts have to say.

health and fitness Updated: Oct 04, 2010 01:27 IST

Surgery to treat torn earlobes is becoming common in the country. “Women fond of heavy earrings face this problem the most. Their lower earlobe splits due to the constant heavy weight of earrings,” says Anup Dhir, senior cosmetic surgeon, Apollo Hospital.

“Another reason why women get this is, they wear these earrings to bed and it constantly rubs with the pillow and the ear gets pulled, causing the holes to enlarge,” he added. Common causes of lobe tear include continuously wearing heavy and pendulous earrings, hairbrush or telephone cords pulls, assault or domestic abuse or babies pulling earrings.

“We have to wear a lot of heavy jewellery during bridal or jewellery shows. This affects the earlobes. So a model should balance it out well by avoiding them at parties or get-togethers ,” says model Amanpreet Wahi.

This is where earlobe surgery — or lobuplasty — comes in. On an average, cosmetic surgeons get 7-10 queries related to earlobe surgery in a month. Dhir says, in most cases, a person has a split or a tear only in one ear because of unconsciously fiddling with it.

“When I joined college, I started wearing heavy earrings every day. But within a year, I saw my left earlobe getting bigger and elongated compared to the right one,” says Priyanka Varma, 22, a media professional, who has stopped wearing earrings now, for fear of tearing it completely.

The earlobe fixing procedure costs Rs.10,000 to Rs.15,000 and can be done under local anesthesia. But Mumbai-based cosmetic surgeon Meenakshi Agarwal says, complex reconstruction can take a few hours and may require a few stages as well. After the procedure one must avoid heavy earrings or wear ones with chains that can support the earring. “Re-piercing can be done only three months after the surgery,” says Dhir.

Though this is a simple surgery, Amit Gupta, cosmetic surgeon in Divine Cosmetic surgery, says there can be problems if a person has excessive scarring. In such cases, the problem can be treated through silicone gels and steroid injections. Also, sometimes, a scar or formation or skin contracture (abnormal shortening of muscle tissue) can disappoint patients and the surgeon.

The ageing process is also one of the factors responsible for lobe tear due to an increase in the bulk, folds or skin creases on the lobes, says Sanjay Parashar, senior cosmetic surgeon and director of Cocoona India.

First Published: Oct 03, 2010 17:32 IST