Earlobe Reduction/Split Earlobe Repair

Big, floppy earlobes are associated with an aged look. It is remarkable how ancillary facial rejuvenation procedures such as a lip lift surgery and earlobe reduction can subtly, yet definitely enhance a fresh, youthful appearance. Earlobes may be naturally long, or can become long and floppy through stretching with heavy earrings.

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Split Earlobes

There are several different “types” of earlobe reduction, depending on whether your earlobes are long, wide, or long and floppy or wide and floppy.

Dr Nettle will assess and recommend the appropriate procedure for you at your pre-operative consultation. The incisions used for each different type of reduction will be discussed with you. A natural looking earlobe with an appropriate harmonious relationship with the rest of the ear is the goal.

Earlobe holes/piercings for earrings may become stretched by heavy earrings, or frequent “microcatches” of earrings on clothes, collars, necklaces etc.

In some circumstances the split can go right through to the base of the ear, creating a tear the whole way through. In split earlobe surgery, the split is completely closed, and re-piercing is recommended 6 to 8 weeks later.

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The Procedure

Earlobe reduction, shortening or split earlobe surgery is performed in the office under local anaesthetic. We recommend some light sedative tablets which we will arrange at your pre-operative consultation.

Depending on the extent of your surgery, the procedure can take anywhere between 30 minutes to 1 ½ hours.

For earlobe reduction and shortening, dissolving stitches are used. For split earlobe repair, a combination of dissolving stitches, and stitches that need to be removed are used. If stitches need to be removed they are removed 6 days after surgery.
Pain is generally minimal, and you can shower and wash your hair straight away as desired.


Earlobe reduction surgery can be performed at any age – we perform this surgery from the 20’s to the 70’s. Earlier is better than later.
Split earlobes generally develop with time and heavy earrings – this surgery can be performed at any time.

There are several different types of earlobe reduction and shortening surgery, depending on your exact circumstances. The incisions are placed in contours or within natural creases to diminish their visibility. The incisions are difficult to see initially, fading to virtually non- existent with time.

There are no Medicare rebates for earlobe reduction as this is considered a cosmetic procedure. On occasion, split earlobes can attract a Medicare rebate, depending on specific circumstances.

Yes. The tendency towards large earlobes and floppy earlobes is inherited. This inherited tendency is enhanced by the lengthening caused by heavy earrings.

Most patients start with one earlobe longer or floppier than the other and one ear and earlobe higher or longer than the other. This is taken into account to achieve the greatest symmetry possible, but perfect symmetry is rare both naturally and with surgery.

It doesn’t absolutely need to be – it is just quicker and more reliable. It is also more accurate to re-pierce both ears at the same level, 6 to 8 weeks after split earlobe repair

You will see Dr Nettle approximately 1 week after your surgery. Following this, appointments will be made on an individual basis to ensure you achieve your aesthetic goals.

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Earlobe Reduction/Split Earlobe Repair