On today’s agenda: Earlobes. Do yours hang low? If so, listen up. There is a way of getting around it that is nowhere near as expensive (or indeed as painful) as you may believe.
Earlobes are sensitive, easily damaged and exposed. As a result of the latter, they’re also one of the most decorated and modified of body parts. Pierced earlobes are a rite of passage in many cultures worldwide and multiple piercings and stretching are more common today than ever before, with the stretching trend hitting UK shores around 10 years ago.
While easily modified, earlobes come with some pretty hefty downsides. They’re constructed entirely out of connective tissue, are full of nerve endings and do not contain any cartilage. At all.
While this makes them easy to pierce and stretch, it also increases the chances of things going awry, especially when the general lack of elasticity in connective tissue is taken into account. Alongside deliberate and accidental stretching, there are other risks associated with having a small, nervy slip of tissue in such an exposed place.
From accidents with straighteners, violent altercations, earring migration and and even frostbite, earlobes often bear an undeserved brunt. However it was achieved, a damaged earlobe can cause problems. Unless you’re the type to skulk about in a large beanie hat or hoodie, there’s no way of hiding your ears. They’re loud, they’re proud and they tell a story, as many people who discovered the stretching trend went on to find out!
Three of the Leicester-based body modification artist Jenova Rain’s clients have offered up their experiences of unwanted stretched earlobes, and what they decided to do about it. Here is Dan’s story, which led him to have reconstruction in January, 2015:
“I had stretched my earlobes to 20mm on both ears and started this when I was about 15 because I liked the style. [They would have ruined] my dream of becoming a soldier in the British Army. For health and safety reasons, stretched lobes are forbidden.” Dan, 21
Thankfully, Earlobe Reconstruction is a thing. A very accessible, very effective and very inexpensive (if you know where to look!) thing. When damaged ears start affecting your confidence and your future work prospects, knowing there is an alternative to bearing the very obvious scars is quite a comfort, as Issac, who had his procedure in November 2015, discovered:
“I opted to have them reconstructed partly because I wanted to keep my career options open, but also for the fact that I just really didn’t think they were ‘me’ anymore. It ended up becoming a huge insecurity of mine, and I always thought that I’d messed up my ears for good! So when I found out there was a solution to fixing this, I instantly jumped to getting them reconstructed.” Issac, 17.
Jenova Rain offers Ear Lobe Reconstruction, a versatile procedure that can both repair splits in lobes (typically associated with the wearing of large, heavy jewellery), shrink the size of holes or remove them completely. It’s often perfectly acceptable to re-stretch the repaired lobe once it has fully healed, and leaves very minimal scarring.
The NHS no longer offer ELR, and private cosmetic surgeons typically charge between £800 and £1000 per ear, an unfeasible pricetag for most. However, experienced body modification artists such as Jenova use the exact same equipment, sterilisation methods and procedure, for a small fraction of that cost, which includes consultations, aftercare and follow ups.
Here’s how it works: a topical anaesthetic cream is applied two hours before the procedure. Jenova Rain then removes the damaged tissue and reconnects the healthy tissue together with suture stitches, which are removed 10 days after the procedure in a follow up appointment. Each ear takes on average 30 minutes to repair, with both ears in one session entirely feasible. It sounds daunting, and painful, but all accounts tell a very different tale, as Karen, who had her earlobes fixed in June 2015, found:
“I had only previously found plastic surgeons carrying out this procedure at a cost of thousands. I must admit I was extremely nervous. I was expecting it to be painful. I can honestly say I did not feel a thing on either ear and I am totally satisfied with the results.” Karen, 47.
Aside from the follow up appointment in which the sutures are removed, the recovery appears to be as painless and convenient as the procedure itself:
“The recovery was surprisingly pleasant, minus the blood stained pillow cases and my ears looking a bit messy for the first few days.. The only discomfort I experienced was a burning sensation every now and then, but even that was fairly subtle. After three days, the swelling was gone. I got the stitches removed, and from there, I just had to be very delicate when moving them around.” Issac.
So, the question is, was it all worth it?
“I’m very happy with the results, and feel like a massive weight has been lifted off of my shoulders – kind of literally now I have normal ears again! The procedure really [was] very painless, and is worth every penny!” Isaac.
“For the price I paid to have it done, considering how much plastic surgeons would charge, I was extremely happy with the outcome and it’s very rare that people even notice I’ve had it done as now, after a year, the scars have almost completely healed.” Dan.
“I would thoroughly recommend this to anyone.” Karen
Damaged or stretched earlobes can be life altering. But the cost of putting them back to normal doesn’t have to be. With Jenova Rain, prices are fixed at £240 for a single ear, or £400 for both. She has helped men and women of all ages get their ears back, whatever the reason they lost them in the first place.
Do your ears hang low? Well, they really don’t have to. If yours do, speak to Jenova Rain.
“If you have any questions about Ear Lobe Reconstruction or if you would like a consultation, please contact myself via the website www.jenova-rain.com or the facebook page. Our full portfolio can be found there too.” – Jenova Rain
Article by Raven Brookes @ Ravens Writing Desk