Wait, there’s something fishy about these ears

  • BY ROSIE SQUIRES
  • news.com.au
  • September 27, 20128:37AM

Ears

A before-and-after photo showing the result of the corrective procedure. Picture: Supplied

Ear diagram

Flap design. The “flesh-ring” is divided at the junction of the anterior one third and posterior two thirds. The posterior longer flap is then rolled up like an anchovy. Pictured: Supplied

WHILE some might argue anyone who stretches their ears for fashion doesn’t deserve help, a group of surgeons have devised a novel way to repair the looped lobes.

Plastic surgeon Dr Broughton Snell said patients who gouge flesh tunnels in their ears often regret it down the track, particularly when they change careers or enter new relationships.
“The fashion trend involves a piercing of the earlobe being gradually expanded over a period of years by insertion of graduated rings,” he wrote in the Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery.

“Patients can find themselves subject to discrimination in various facets of life including employment and interpersonal relationships.”
Dr Snell, of the Royal Adelaide Hospital Department of Plastic and Reconstructive surgery, tells doctors to snip the loose earlobe and roll the skin “like an anchovy.” (See diagram)
His technique worked a treat for a 21-year-old patient who stretched his ears by 2mm every three months to reach a 4cm diameter. (pictured)

“Surgeons can plan how long the lobe will be and the angle of the root after discussion with the patient and by looking at pictures of pre-stretched lobes,” Dr Snell said.

“Our method involved division of the tissue ring at approximately the junction of the anterior first and second third. Then de-epitheliased both anterior and posterior surfaces of the posterior flap, and then just the inner surface of the anterior flap. The longer of the two flaps folded upon itself and used the short flap acts as a cover.”

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