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Monroe piercing (with local anesthetic)

I had been planning to get a monroe piercing for a long time but had never been able to find the time (between full time work and part time Uni) or a decent studio. I ended up choosing to go to the same place I had my navel pierced at, Dr Welch's. He is a GP who also performs body piercing and uses local anesthetic by default. I made my appointment a week prior and was asked to purchase the jewelery myself and bring it along 30 minutes prior to my appointment for sterilization.

I bought the jewelery on the day, which was small feat in itself as there are very few decent studios around here and it's all too easy to buy bad quality jewelery. I first went to BodyWorx and asked for a titanium or stainless steel labret bar that would be long enough to accommodate swelling, and the lady told me the longest she had was only about 7mm in length. I ended up going to Technique Jewelers and bought a 14g titanium labret bar almost 2cm in length (knowing that my lips are very sensitive and blow up the size of a football at a mere bump).

Upon arriving at the surgery (after taking the jewelery in 30 minutes beforehand) I was asked to fill out a form with my date of birth, name and address. I was then taken into a small doctor's office where I would wait for Michael. He came in, asked me where he was putting the piece of metal and then asked me to sit upright on the bed. He handed me a marker and a mirror, and I asked him to just choose where he thought it looked best. He made a small mark that looked okay by me, then told me he'd put a shot of local in the dot.

The local anesthetic definitely hurt the most (as you'd logically expect anyway, heh) and I am sure the piercing itself would ultimately have hurt less without it. The injection lasted about 5-6 seconds, long enough for me to groan and say "Ow....ow....ow...". It was a very sharp, burning sensation and I could feel my lip swelling up by the second. He told me he'd be back in a few minutes and left me feeling like I had a duck bill on my face. My lip swelled up huge but I could still feel it - only my upper lip itself had actually gone completely numb.

In about five minutes Michael returned to pierce my lip. He did not use a clamp (he did when he had done my navel, though). At this point he did not really let me know what he was doing, and after a very uncomfortable heavy pressure and tugging sensation I had a needle through my lip. I am not even sure if he cleaned my skin first, although perhaps I just didn't notice him doing it. More hard, uncomfortable dragging and then he was screwing the ball on the jewelery. He did not offer any aftercare information, nor did he tell me how long I had to wait before I could change the bar out (I was too woozy to think to ask). He once again left me to it, and I collected up my things and then went and paid the $65.

I felt very lightheaded when I left the surgery, like I was stoned out of my brain. The piercing experience itself was worse than my navel, nostril and ear cartilage and lobe piercings. My lip swelled up extremely large, the piercing bled a lot and it ached and throbbed. I wasn't able to talk for about an hour afterwards, but after that I was fine and began eating and talking again.

I personally do not recommend that people use a local anesthetic for such a piercing (not many body piercers are authorized to use injectable anesthetic anyway) as it seems to complicate the procedure unnecessarily. The burning and stinging of the anesthetic is probably more painful than the piercing itself would have been anyway, and seems to cause much more swelling and generally makes the piercing more expensive and difficult.

It's now been 16 hours since I had it done. I just woke up, and the swelling is still quite bad (worse than it had been yesterday). Ice seems to help a little bit. One vital tip I can offer you is to make sure you use a LONG bar to prevent the disc being embedded in your lip, especially if you know your lips swell like mad. My bar is still quite snug. I have not done any sea salt soaks or anything like that at this point, I'm just leaving it alone and icing it occasionally (as well as making sure the inside disc is still completely visible within all the swelling). Let's hope it heals up uneventfully!


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 16 June 2008
in Lip Piercing

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Artist: Dr+Michael+Welch
Studio: Dr+Michael+Welch%27s+surgery
Location: Hobart%2C+Tasmania

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