The Talker: Surgery for sagging earlobes - FOX 32 News Chicago

The Talker: Surgery for sagging earlobes

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

There's a new change in the cosmetic surgery business; a rise in a specific kind of cosmetic procedure: an "ear lift."

Our ears age the same way as the rest of our face. Over time there's a natural loss of volume that happens beneath the skin, but leaves the surface of our skin a bit looser and wrinkled.

It tends to happen with our eyes, mouth, and ears, which have been on the facelift and Botox radar for many years. Now, procedures for the ears seem to be catching up.

Patients are perking up their ears in a number of ways. There are facial fillers that smooth over ear-wrinkles in a way generally similar to how Botox works. The cost is said to be around $500 to $600.

A fat graft is where tiny fat particles from your belly button are transplanted into your ear lobes. The fat plumps things up by living and growing just like it was always there. The cost is about $800 to $1,000.

For ears that are extra droopy, a more traditional surgery is used to take off some skin and reduce the overall size.

Chicago plastic surgeon David Teplica says the fat graft is best when smaller lobes need just a touch of plumping. He says for not that much more money, it lasts the rest of your life, as opposed to the other fillers which hold up for only about a year, then need to be redone.

Some people say big earrings hasten ear-drooping. Dr. Teplica questions that. His ear patients are mostly men who don't wear earrings.

Cosmetic ear procedures are still pretty rare. Dr. Teplica says the people who get them often have had work done on other parts of their faces and now their ears look old by comparison.

The typical patients, he says, are in their late 50's or early 60's and want to look good for the rest of their work careers.

Are they vain? Here's what the doctor said.

"It depends how you define vanity. For me vanity is when somebody wants to keep looking better and better and better. My patients are logical grounded professionals. And they see a chink in the armor. They see that they've taken a step backwards. They're not looking to look better than themselves. They're looking to capture a little bit of the past. They're looking to try to get back to a little bit of where they used to be."

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