University of Iowa Health Care

Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences

Repair of torn earlobe 

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This is Richard Allen at the University of Iowa. 

This video demonstrates repair of a torn earlobe. 

The area is inspected and the tear is noted.  The area is then infiltrated with 1% Lidocaine. An incision will then be made on the anterior portion of one side of the tear with the 15 blade.  This incision then continues to the apex of the tear where it then proceeds along the posterior edge of the other edge of the tear.  This will allow mobilization of separate flaps that will overlap each other to provide maximal strength of the repair.  The flaps are mobilized with Westcott scissors. I try not to use any cautery in these repairs so that there is no impediment to healing.  The overlapping nature of the flaps is demonstrated.  A single deep 6-0 Vicryl suture is placed to re-appose the tear.  The skin is then closed with interrupted 6-0 Prolene sutures that gently evert the repair. These sutures are placed along the anterior and posterior extent of the repair.  At the conclusion of the case, antibiotic ointment is placed over the repair 3 times per day.  The patient will return in one week for suture removal.  I allow the patient to have their ear re-pierced in 2 months.  

last updated: 10/26/2015
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