Lobe Jobs

Dr. Patricia Wexler, a leading Manhattan cosmetic dermatologist to upper-class New York, has plumped numerous earlobes since 2003 (including those of a desperate patient who got six-carat heart-shaped diamond earrings for her birthday), and she believes this kind of super-specialized procedure is a growing trend. In addition to Restylane, Dr. Wexler sometimes uses the filler Sculptra, a newer injectable whose effects can last longer than some others, and which takes several weeks to stimulate. Dr. Wexler also sometimes uses fat injections—harvested from numerous parts of the body, such as the “saddlebag” area on the outer thighs—in the earlobe.

While some patients practically beg to have their appendages enhanced—“My ears are starting to look my dog’s,” one of Dr. Romano’s patients told him—others come by the procedure in a more roundabout way. Often patients who are receiving facial fillers will have “leftovers” and they might say, “What else can you do for me?” After all, it’s not like excess Restylane can be recycled. “It is kind of a use-it-or-lose-it thing,” Dr. Sobel said.

When Mrs. L., an Upper East Side woman in her 60’s who asked that her real name not be used, was receiving Restylane in her face from Dr. Geronemus about six months ago, the doctor told her that there was some filler left and that maybe she should consider plumping her thinning earlobes. “I thought that was kind of funny, but after the injections my ears looked great!” she said.

And if you think worrying about one’s lobes is nitpicky, doctors are now injecting the “peach pit,” a name for the wrinkly skin that forms in the cleavage of older women (a particular problem for thin women who have had implants, Dr. Wexler said), so that they can look better in low-cut gowns and push-up bras.

“Nothing seems way off the charts anymore, “said the writer Nora Ephron, who famously atomized the female figure in the best-selling essay collection I Feel Bad About My Neck. She does not feel bad about her ears, she added. Not yet.

Lobe Jobs