New Cosmetic Surgery On The Rise to Reverse Stretched Earlobes as Trend Gets Old
Europe has a new popular cosmetic surgery on the rise: repairing stretched earlobes. Huh!? Ever seen a punkster walking around with giant round holes at the bottom of their earlobes? The piece of jewelry that fills out the perimeter of this hole is known as a plug. But just because someone goes through the pain of obtaining plugs in their youth, doesn’t mean they are going to want big holes in their ears forever.
Especially when you take into consideration what stretched earlobes look like when the plugs are removed…
Insert plastic surgeon Adrian Richards and many people have a second chance at a new set of ears, sans holes. Dr. Richards has crafted a way to repair stretched earlobes in as little as 30 minutes. Patients are placed under local anesthetic and charged around $2,900 for both ears. Dr. Richards has no shortage in patients seeking the operation, and he performs about 10 of these ear correction surgeries each month.
Dr. Richards sees people from all walks of life, he’s repaired the ears of a golf professional that wasn’t allowed to tour on the PGA with stretched earlobes. He has also helped a former punk rock band member look more suited to his current career as a teacher. And just recently, a solider came to Dr. Richard’s office wanting reconstructive surgery on his ears after his commanding officer informed him that internal guidelines prohibited ear tunnels larger than 2cm.
Despite the bad reputation stretched earlobes carry, they are a popular fashion trend for punk rockers and rebels going for a more ‘grunge’ look. The process isn’t easy, and it can also be rather painful.
A Hawaiian man by the name Kala Kaiwi (pictured below) holds the world record for the largest earlobe holes at 10cm—that’s large enough to fit a fist through!
Ear stretching takes time and dedication, and includes slowly expanding your ear by inserting larger sized plugs every few weeks. Once the hole measures 1.5cm in diameter, your ear will never again regain its original shape. Overtime this creates an extremely unattractive appearance where the earlobe skin unnaturally sags when plugs are removed.
Yet after all of this hard work, many people with stretched earlobes grow up and enter the real world, only to realize their stretched ears are no longer so cool. It isn’t easy to snag a job with huge holes in your ears, just ask 24-year-old Luke Clark, a recent college graduate interviewed by The Guardian. Clark admits he couldn’t land a job, and he quickly realized his issue might be the unattractive holes in his earlobes.
Dr. Richards fixes saggy earlobes by removing excess skin and then stitching the ear back together using melt-away stitches. He claims that the procedure is fairly straightforward and requires little down time. He says, “The main discomfort is from the anesthetic, which lasts about 10 seconds…. Dressings come off after a week, and that’s it really.”