Trends in style and personal appearance are constantly changing. Most of the time, there are few long term consequences to the choices we make about how we look: too short a hairstyle? It will grow out. Wrong color of lipstick? Just wipe it off and start over. However, sometimes the choices we made in the past may not fit with our current lifestyle. Some people regret the decision to change their ears and seek gauged ear repair.
Gauging is a practice that gradually stretches the skin of the earlobe. The practice dates back to thousands of years ago. The Egyptian Pharoh Tutankhamen had stretched earlobes. The Buddha had gauged ears which were a symbol of his wealth before he renounced his possessions. Today gauging is a popular trend among of what is known as body modification, which includes tattoos and body piercing.
Personally, I have no problem with gauged ears. I see them often in the cycling crowd that I ride with and I think they look cool. The problem is that not everyone shares this view (your new boss, significant other, Grandma).
Gauged ear repair is a simple procedure that can be performed in my office with local anesthesia in about an hour with no downtime. I will remove the scar created from the gauge and then reconstruct the ear into a natural, pleasing shape. After the procedure, you wont need bulky dressings, just some simple wound care and antibiotic ointment. Once the area has healed, it is very difficult to tell your ears were ever stretched.
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Travis Shaw, M.D. is a double board certified Ear, Nose, Throat and Facial Plastic Surgeon serving Richmond, Williamsburg, Short Pump and Chesterfield.