Stretched earlobe repair uk tribal ear lobe reconstruction correction surgery

Tribal Earlobes

Renowned Ear Plastic Surgeons

Performed under local anaesthetic

Minimal downtime

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What’s on this page

Medically reviewed by Lorcan Sheppard BSc MBBS FRCA, Chief Medical Officer and the Medical Advisory Committee for The Private Clinic.
Last Reviewed July 12th 2022

Tribal earlobe piercings that are stretched to more than 10mm are unlikely to fully contract back to their original size.  The altered shape of the earlobe then becomes difficult to hide and can negatively impact your appearance, social life or career.

Tribal or stretched earlobe repair is a quick and effective procedure that corrects the appearance of over stretched ear lobes as a result of tribal ear piercing.

It is important to see someone who is experienced in tribal earlobe repair that is able to precisely recreate the curve of your earlobe to avoid any unnatural looking lumps or bumps.

Tribal ear repair at The Private Clinic is performed by some of the UK’s top consultant plastic surgeons who have extensive experience in ear correction surgery.

Procedure Time
15 – 20 mins per ear

Anaesthetic Type
Local anaesthetic

Hospital Stay

Support Garment

1 day

Elevate head 1-2 weeks

1 day

Reasonably Mobile

Sexual Activity
4 weeks

Back to work
1 – 2 days

1 – 2 days

1 week

Full Recovery Time
4 – 6 weeks

Final Results
6 weeks

Tribal ear piercing dates back to ancient tribes and civilizations where body modification was a major part of their culture including achieving social status, religious reasons or for beauty purposes.

Tribal ear piercing stems from an original traditional ear piercing that is then stretched using a cone shaped taper which is pushed further through the earlobe on a daily basis or using large sized tunnels to deliberately stretch the piercing hole to allow larger pieces of jewellery to be worn.

When the time comes to remove these pieces of jewellery it is often difficult for the ear to return back to its original shape particularly for ears that have been stretched to over 10mm. Tribal earlobe correction surgery is then required to fix the earlobe and restore its original shape and size.

Tribal earlobe correction is often requested for those struggling to secure jobs or promotions in the workplace. Other side effects of tribal earlobe piercing are keloid scarring which can cause pain and severe itchiness and skin sagging which can cause an unsightly appearance to the ears causing patients to avoid social situations or wear their hair short.

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Before & After

Our excellent reputation for patient safety and satisfaction, honest advice and outstanding care means your journey with The Private Clinic will be an exciting experience. Take a look at some of our tribal earlobe repair results below.

What to Expect

The Private Clinic has been treating patients for over 35 years with thousands of people placing their trust in us each year. We pride ourselves on being able to offer a personalised service. We have a team of friendly nurses and expert surgeons who understand the importance of this decision and will support you throughout your journey with us.

The Consultation

Tribal earlobe repair consultations will take place with one of our expert plastic surgeons.

During this consultation, your surgeon will be able to assess your suitability for surgery and discuss the options available.

Your surgeon will then also:

  • Review your medical history
  • Discuss your expectations from surgery
  • Detail the risks and complications of Tribal earlobe repair surgery
  • Go through the aftercare process
  • Answer any questions that you may have

You will then be allocated a dedicated patient coordinator who will be your point of contact should you wish to go ahead with the procedure.

Consultation Image 1

Pre-Operative Appointment

In the interests of patient safety all our patients are assessed against our patient selection criteria. Following your tribal earlobe repair consultation your medical history will be reviewed and the pre-operative nurse will advise on pre-operative tests.

They will advise you of any precautions you need to take in the days or weeks leading up to your tribal earlobe procedure and advise on any medication that you should stop taking before your procedure.

Consultation Image 1

Tribal Earlobe Repair Surgery

Tribal earlobe surgery may be performed in hospital or within one of our in-house clinic theatres under local anaesthetic. The procedure takes 5-20 minutes per ear to perform.

On arrival

  • You will meet with the surgeon who will go through the procedure again and answer any questions.
  • Pre-operative photos will be taken.
  • You will be prepped for surgery by the nursing team.

The procedure

  • Local anaesthetic will be injected into the treatment area.
  • A wedge-shaped piece of tissue is removed from the ear.
  • Any excess tissue is also removed.
  • The two loose ends carefully stitched back together
  • The earlobe will be closed up with absorbable stitches and you will have small dressings placed on the ear.

Once the surgeon and nursing team are happy that you are safe to return home, you will be discharged and allowed to leave accompanied by a family member or friend.

Consultation Image 1

After your tribal earlobe repair procedure

Your surgeon will provide you with aftercare information to follow and any medication that you will be required to take during your recovery. You will also have information on how to contact us at any time should you feel worried or concerned at any point during your recovery.

The downtime after tribal earlobe repair surgery is minimal and many patients are able to return to work the day following their procedure. We recommend that strenuous exercise is avoided for 48 hours.

You will be required to attend a series of follow-up appointments at The Private Clinic which usually includes a 1-week check-up appointment with a nurse and then your 6-week post-operative appointment with your surgeon. At this stage you should be fully healed and back to your everyday activities and your surgeon will be able to advise you on anything that you are unsure of.

Consultation Image 1

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Will a stretched earlobe heal naturally without surgery?

If you had ear stretchers and they were below 10mm it is possible that the hole in your ear will naturally constrict back to a smaller size. If the hole is over 10mm then the hole will gradually shrink over time, but not enough so that it would not be noticeable and you will then require surgery to repair it.

How long does tribal earlobe repair surgery take?

We usually estimate 15-20 minutes of surgery per ear. This will vary depending how big the ear is stretched too.

Is tribal earlobe repair carried out under general or local anaesthetic?

We carry out the majority of our tribal earlobe repair procedures under local anaesthetic. The procedure itself is very quick and we will ensure that you are not in any pain throughout the procedure. If you are feeling anxious about surgery then a sedative could also be used but general anaesthetic is not normally used.

Does tribal earlobe repair hurt?

You should not be in any pain during tribal earlobe repair surgery as both a topical numbing cream and local anaesthetic will have been applied to the area being treated. Post-surgery, you may start to feel a little discomfort as the anaesthetic wears off. In most cases this is easily dealt with but it can also be managed with pain relief such as paracetamol.

Will I be able to drive home after stretched earlobe repair surgery?

If your tribal earlobe repair procedure took place under local anaesthetic then you should be fine to drive home afterwards. However we do recommend that patients come with a friend or family member in case you feel unwell or faint after the procedure and they can instead drive you home.

How long will the results from tribal earlobe repair surgery last?

The results from tribal earlobe repair surgery are permanent so unless you decide to stretch your ear again, they should not return to how they looked pre-surgery.

Can I pierce or stretch my earlobes again after tribal earlobe surgery?

It is possible to pierce or stretch your ears again after tribal earlobe repair but for the best results we do advise that you refrain from doing so. A standard ear piercing avoiding the scar would be fine once the earlobe has fully healed after 6 months but try to refrain from stretching the lobe again as it will be weaker and more prone to splitting.

Will I need time off work after tribal earlobe surgery?

The majority of patients return to work the following day after their tribal earlobe repair procedure. If you work in a dusty environment or in a particularly strenuous job then it may be advised that you take a couple of days off to allow for the earlobe to heal. It is worth noting that your stitches may still be visible for up to a week post-procedure so additional time off may be required if you work in a cosmetically sensitive job.

How soon can I exercise after tribal earlobe repair surgery?

You will be able to get back to your exercise routine 48 hours after your surgery. We advise patients to wait 48 hours to reduce the risk of bleeding and pain in the area treated. You should also take care if you are involved in contact sports and ensure that your ears are protected and not at risk of being rubbed for at least 6 weeks post-procedure.

When can I wash my hair after tribal earlobe repair surgery?

You will be able to wash your hair 24 hours after stretched earlobe repair surgery. We recommend that you try to avoid the earlobe getting excessively wet and that you gently pat dry the area afterwards. Full aftercare advice will be provided to you on the day of your surgery.

How long does it take for the earlobe to heal after tribal earlobe repair surgery?

It can take up to 4-6 weeks for the stitches to absorb and the wounds from tribal earlobe repair surgery to heal.

Will my stitches need to be removed after tribal earlobe repair surgery?

At The Private Clinic we use absorbable stitches in earlobe repair surgery. Absorbable begin to naturally dissolve after 1-2 weeks. If you notice visible stitches after two weeks then you may need to book a post-op appointment to get them removed.

What is the scar like after tribal earlobe repair surgery?

All surgical procedures unfortunately cause a scar. Tribal earlobe repair creates a thin linear scar on your earlobe. Initially this scar may appear red but this should gradually fade over time and in most cases becomes unnoticeable.  Our surgeons will be able to advise you on scar care post-procedure to help you achieve the best results.

Is tribal earlobe repair surgery safe?

As with any surgical procedure there are always risks but tribal earlobe repair is a very safe procedure. Common complications include poor scaring and infection.

What does a free tribal ear repair consultation mean?

We are offering free tribal ear correction phone or video consultations.

These consultations are with our experienced patient coordinators who will provide information on the procedure and the best tribal ear correction surgeon to suit your requirements.

In order to secure the timed appointment we will ask you to pay a £25 refundable deposit. This is refunded once the consultation takes place. You can change your appointment time up to 48 hours before.

Contact us to book a free phone or video consultation.

What is a stretched or tribal earlobe?

A stretched earlobe is when the lobe has been purposely stretched using various ear taper tools and plugs to create an enlarged appearance.

Is there a limit to the size of earlobe stretch that can be repaired?

Our surgeons are very experienced and are able to successfully repair all sizes of stretched tribal earlobes. Click here to book a consultation to see how we can help.

What happens during a tribal earlobe repair procedure?

Topical numbing cream will have been applied to your earlobes and local anaesthetic is then injected into the lobe. At this point your ear should become completely numb and your ear will be wiped down and sterile drapes will be placed around the area to keep it clean. The technique used for stretched earlobes will depend on the on the shape and size of the earlobe but in most cases a section of tissue will be removed and the open ends will be stitched back together with absorbable stitches and a small bandage will be applied. Your surgeon will then start to repair your other ear if you are having both sides treated.

How much does Tribal Earlobe Repair cost?

The cost of a Stretched / Tribal Earlobe Repair Surgery starts from £1,260 (unilateral) to approximately £2,340 (bilateral) these prices can vary according to the degree of correction required.

We also offer Split Earlobe Repair which you can find out more about here.

We don’t follow a one-price-fits-all policy and prices are quoted on a case by case basis. You will be given an accurate quote for your requirements following your consultation.

Consultations with our plastic surgeons are £100 at our clinics in London Harley Street, Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester and Northampton.

We also offer consultations with our highly experienced Patient Coordinators which require a £25 refundable deposit to secure your place. These are available in BirminghamLeedsManchester and Northampton.

Patient coordinators are able to offer you all the information you require prior to meeting a surgeon.

Please note all consultations available at our Harley Street clinic are with a surgeon.

Is there a tribal earlobe repair clinic near me?

The Private Clinic has clinics nationwide so we are sure to have an expert earlobe repair surgeon located near to you.

Our clinics:

Where can I get stretched earlobe repair in London?

London – 98 Harley street, W1G7HZ

Where can I get stretched earlobe repair in Manchester?

Manchester – 25 St John Street, M3 4DT

Where can I get stretched earlobe repair in Birmingham?

Birmingham – 88 Hagley Road, B16 8LU – West Midlands

Where can I get tribal earlobe repair in Leeds?

Leeds – 45 Park Square North, LS1 2NP – Yorkshire

Where can I get tribal earlobe repair in Buckinghamshire?

Buckinghamshire – Virtual Consultation Only

Where can I get tribal earlobe repair in Northampton?

Northampton – 82 Billing Road, NN1 5DF – East Midlands

To find out more about booking a consultation at a clinic near you, contact us here.

Tribal Earlobe Repair is Available in these Clinics

Things to Consider

Our advice on what to consider when deciding to have a tribal earlobe repair procedure:

1. When choosing a clinic, you should always do your research, and only go to an established, reputable clinic.

The Private Clinic has been in the cosmetic surgery industry for over 35 years. We are here to answer all of your questions and give you peace of mind.

2. When choosing a surgeon, make sure you know who you’ll be seeing. Their expertise, qualifications and patient satisfaction rate are important factors to take into consideration.

At The Private Clinic, we only source the most experienced and specialised surgeons. Find out more about our plastic surgeons here.

3. Price should never be the deciding factor when choosing where to have your treatment. Safety should be your number one priority and feeling confident that they will look after you – not only before, but also after your procedure

4. When it sounds too good to be true, it often is. Always find out what your clinic’s reputation is.

Our excellent reputation for patient safety and satisfaction, honest advice and outstanding care means your journey with The Private Clinic will be an exciting experience to a newfound shape.

Patient Stories

Outstanding care, patient satisfaction and results mean everything to The Private Clinic Team

“Having an earlobe repair procedure has opened up a lot of new options and opportunities for me.”

Why Choose The Private Clinic

  • Expert Cosmetic surgeons
  • Dedicated care with your expert surgeon and nursing team, and a 24 hour help line.
  • We have state of the art hospital facilities.
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Meet our Surgeons

We are proud to have some of the UK’s leading Consulting Plastic Surgeons working with us and together we strive to deliver effective solutions coupled with the best patient care available. All of our surgeons have extensive experience and knowledge has made them very well respected within our industry. Tribal Earlobe Repair consultations available at our BirminghamLeedsManchesterLondon, and Northampton clinics.