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Gives pop a whole new meaning.

I first learned about dermal anchors from an article posted here on BME. At this point I had made 3 attempts at healing surface piercings (1 sternum and 2 side navel,) and was excited to hear about a new technique that seemed to offer more stability to surface piercings, as well as allowing for placement that a regular surface bar would not. I was also happy about the possibility of have only one ball.

SO off I go to my piercer and friend, Andy. (Shameless plug for Andy's amazing work and incredible patience with some one like me who asks questions about EVERYTHING, not to mention someone who makes you feel welcome to hang out for hours on end, even when not getting any work done.) I go to the shop about once a week when I'm not busy, just to escape everyday life for a bit and chat, so while on a visit, I brought up the idea of anchors. Andy had read the article and was aware of the idea of the jewelry, but was skeptical of the designs available at the time and not too keen on making his own prototype, so the idea was dropped until a better design came along.

Flash forward quite a bit and Andy had switched shops and there was now an anchor being mass manufactured with two holes on one side and one hole on the other. Andy felt this would be more likely to allow the jewelry to anchor into the skin that early designs, and agreed to order some and try them out. We spent a lot of time talking about how the procedure would be done and the pros (mentioned above,) and cons, such as the fact that a dermal anchor would me more permanent than a surface piercing. He told me they had to be cut out. He also mentioned the possibility of the threads stripping. You can't just change the jewelry out in that case.

So my anchors came in and I picked a day, just after my father had undergone surgery. ( I like to mark events in my life with piercings.) I came in and Andy set up. He ran through the procedure one more time, mentioning that a scalpel might make for a easier experience, but I wussed out. I lay down on the table and started breathing. Andy made the first pocket, then moved on to the second. He decided they were too small and I agreed to let him go ahead and use the scalpel. This whole procedure took only about 5 minutes, and the pain was intense but not unbearable. Then he put the anchor in, and I felt pressure, then heard and felt a loud POP. The anchor was in, and Andy screwed on the disk end. I took a break in between the first and second procedures, and had a few swigs of coffee while holding gauze to my chest. Andy answered the phone, and then we sat down for anchor two. We discussed whether or not to just use the scalpel on this one, but Andy had used the needle tip and a marking guide so he wanted to use the needle again. He made the pocket again with the needle and then used the scalpel to open them up. This time when he tried to put the anchor in, it wouldn't go. I remember saying, is it in? He didn't respond so I said, you're not saying yes! And he said hmmm scalpel please. So he scalpeled the holes open farther, and then pushed the anchor in. Again came to loud popping noise, and the blood. After the disk was screwed on, Andy handed me some more gauze and we chowed down on some bagels I had brought in for him and the rest of the shop.

I can only describe the sensations as odd. The popping was loud, and weird. The pain factor I would compare to a rook or daith or some such thicker piece of cartilage. There was quite a bit of blood, but I attribute that to the use of the scalpel. It bled less than my four point ear project.

For aftercare, I put a bandage on each anchor when I slept for the first few days. After the third day I stopped this. I use emu oil for all of my piercings, and swear by it. The anchors get a quick rub twice a day and a salt soak once a week or so. It's been about a month now and they seem to be healing up quicker than most piercings I've had done. My only major problem is that the disks tend to loosen and fall off, so I have to make sure they are cranked on well. So far, I love my anchors, and I would recommend them to those who understand that they are permanent piercings that must be cut out to be removed.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 12 Sept. 2007
in Pocketing and Stapling

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Artist: Andy
Studio: Olde+Town+Tattoo
Location: St.+Cloud+MN

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