Slicing My Lobes
I have been stretching my ears on and off for about 4 years now. I've met and surpassed more than one goal that I thought would be my end result, only to decide later that I wanted to go bigger. Eventually I decided that 1" would be my final result and, this time, I think that it actually is my final result and I am finally finished stretching for good. It's a very satisfying feeling coupled with the knowledge that I'll finally be able to start collecting up different plugs and tunnels to wear in my ears.
Over the course of stretching my ears I have had a few issues, although they have been relatively few and far between. From the beginning I did my research, mostly here on bmezine, and learned about the proper ways of stretching. I always left at least 4-6 weeks between each stretch, for the smaller sizes used proper tapers and for the larger sizes used teflon tape wraps. I skipped a size only once because I was accidentally given the wrong sized plugs and didn't realize it and had my ears bleed over the course of stretching only once, despite waiting a prolonged amount of time between stretches. Nevertheless, for the most part my stretches were easy and more or less painless.
Once I got past 00 gauge I began doing teflon tape wraps around my plugs, 1-2 wraps every couple of days. It was a rather slow process but given the size of the stretches, it seemed the best way to get from size to size with a minimum or risk to my ears. The technique seemed to be working just as expected until I reached 3/4" at which point I encountered a major problem: the fact that my ears refused to stretch any further. I would get about half way to the next size and my ears would invariably become red and irritated and I'd have to remove the tape wraps and go back down to ¾". I tried this on and off for almost a year, consistently every 2-3 months, before eventually giving up. It was at this time that I decided that it would be best if I just got my ears scalpelled the rest of the way to 1".
The day that I went into The Fall I was intending to get my right nipple repierced but had a change of heart. As much as I wanted my nipple repierced (it rejected after having it for almost 5 years) I wanted my ears done more. So I made an appointment with my piercer, Russ Foxx, for a few hours later. There was some deliberation about whether or not he would actually be able to scalpel my ears to 1" but it was eventually decided, much to my pleasure, that there was enough room and he would be able to do so. Unfortunately he didn't have any O rings of the appropriate size so I was sent on a quest to find some at another studio and returned shortly thereafter with O rings in hand.
Before getting scalpelled I made sure to have a good meal and to buy a sugary drink. I've always gotten an apple juice before any mod was being performed on me, its become something of a tradition for me. I was more nervous than usual for this particular mod, not knowing entirely what to expect. I'm rarely nervous for piercings or tattoos anymore, having gotten enough of them to more or less know what to expect. Same goes for dermal punches, though scalpelling was something entirely new for me. Nevertheless, I wasn't about to let nerves stand in the way of getting something done that I had wanted for a very long time. No matter how bad it had the potential to be, the pain is only temporary.
Upon returning to the studio I had to fill out the customary form that gave permission to do the procedure and confirmed that I was of age. Russ asked if it was all right if his apprentice stayed and helped which I was fine with, though sadly I cannot currently recall her name, but she was very nice. We agreed that the procedure would be done with glass tunnels, mainly because it was a cheap and relatively light substance that was appropriate for the healing of a fresh wound. As per usual before a procedure was begun, there was the process of marking up the site of the procedure and cleaning the area as well. That done, Russ placed a sterile blue bib type thing that went around my ear so that if there was any blood it wouldn't get all over my skin and clothes. Marks were confirmed and then my ear was clamped. Russ explained everything he was doing both before the procedure was started and while he was actually doing so.
At this point I was told to take the customary deep breath in and deep breath out and upon the exhale Russ began cutting with the scalpel. The cut seemed to take forever, likely because instead of a single cut there were at least two distinct cuts. At this point I know that he had his apprentice take hold of the clamp that was around my ear so that he could place the tunnel into my ear and then slip the O ring onto the tunnel. The blood was then cleaned off of my ear and the area around my ear and I was given a chance to lie back and prepare for the next ear to be done.
The second ear followed much the same as the first one did with a couple of minor exceptions. The first notable difference was that the procedure itself took longer, for which I got an apology from Russ when he was finished putting the scalpel through. I really don't know why it took longer but I definitely felt the difference. The second difference was that I got blood in the inside of my ear canal which I was unable to get rid of entirely before leaving the studio. Aside from those two things there were no significant differences between my left and right ear. After finishing with the second ear, it too was cleaned off and, after sitting for a minute to recover, I took a look in the mirror. Both ears looked bloody and angry (to be expected though) but I could tell right then how awesome they were going to look healed.
Upon completion of the procedure I paid and made sure to tip in thanks of yet another job well done. For the rest of the day my ears throbbed painfully and for the next several days. Over the next couple of weeks, especially the first week, my ears periodically bled but for the most part they remained manageable. For the first few days I was told not to do any soaks on them as I usually would with healing, for fear that they could cause my ears to bleed more. After the third day I began doing regular sea salt soaks (1/4 teaspoon salt/1 cup water) and cleaning them off with a cutip. This I did twice a day.
It has been about 1 month since I got my ears scalpelled and healing has been more or less uneventful. The most notable thing about healing is the amount that they seem to lymph. I have had a number of procedures done, including 2 gauge nostril dermal punches, but I've never had anything lymph quite as much as my still healing ears seem to. I have to wash my hair pretty much every day because of dried lymph getting into it. Aside from that healing has been no more difficult than any other piercing or dermal punch that I've gotten. I had to wait some time before being able to wear headphones again comfortable but, again, that was to be expected. As far as the pain of the mod itself goes, I admit that it was one of my more painful mods. I found it to be more painful than any piercing I have yet gotten, mainly because there was more than one incision involved, but significantly less painful than my nostril dermal punches. Pain is, of course, different for everyone though . Overall I am completely satisfied with the end result.
For anyone who is considered getting their ears scalpelled I would recommend to just go for it. While I found the pain to be fairly significant, it wasn't so much that I couldn't handle it and I have certainly been through worse. Healing so far has been long but relatively easy aside from the excess lymphing. I've found it to be an excellent way to get to the end result of stretching out my ears and, if anything, I wish that I had thought of scalpelling my ears sooner. If I did offer one word of hesitance about getting something like this done, however, is to be certain that this is a mod you want to have forever. I know many people view stretched lobes as a temporary modification and, especially when it comes to a large increase in size all at once, one needs to be certain that they are prepared for the permanent consequences of such a decision.
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 27 Jan. 2013
in Lobe Scalpelling and Cutting