I just finished one of the more unique cases of ear reshaping, or otoplasty, in quite a while. This particular patient presented to our San Diego plastic surgery office desiring reshaping of her ears. She had her earlobe gauging, or stretching, many years ago that created a progressively larger hole in her ear. After many years of this, she finally decided to remove the earlobe gauges and have her ears reshaped. Below left is a lateral view of her left ear showing the extent of the earlobe gauging or earlobe stretching. As you can see, there is a fairly dramatic change in the shape of the earlobe. In fact, it looks as if the bottom of her ear is simply just hanging off. Given the type of changes that were noted, I outlined a plan to reconstruct the earlobe to help restore a relatively normal looking ear for her. The reconstruction used to repair her damaged earlobe actually involves well-established plastic surgery techniques that are based on tissue expansion. In essence, I looked at her stretched earlobes as having already undergone one form of tissue expansion and utilized the excess soft tissue to recreate a more natural appearing earlobe. This included removal of a significant amount of excess tissue that was stretched and damaged from the earlobe gauges. The remaining soft tissue was then strategically trimmed and rotated around (repositioned) before being sutured in place. As you can see, even in the immediate postoperative ear reshaping photo below right (taken immediately after her otoplasty procedure), her ear looks markedly better. The blue threads correspond to the small suture, or stitches, that were used to realign the skin edges. Once these sutures are removed in 5-6 days, her ear will look even more normal with restoration of a very natural looking ear. If you or a friend have undergone gauging of the earlobe and are considering a return to a more natural looking ear through plastic surgery, give our office a call today. Or to learn more about ear plastic surgery, read our online otoplasty tutorial on ear reshaping surgery.