We’ve observed quite a few trends on the web from our day-to-day lives. Recall those human skin style boots? Were they unsettling at first? Do you have any ideas about teeth nails? Perhaps flower vase hair would be more to your taste? Adding surgery and body modification to proceedings can lead to strange trends that can rise to another level – just look at the artist who claimed he cut off his belly button and nipples to sell them as art. Body modification is the latest trend that’s about to become trendy, and conch removal is the latest one.
Conch removal, as the name suggests, involves the removal of the ear’s conch cartilage. A man from Australia called Charles had the procedure done by artist Chai Mobert, who uploaded photos to Instagram. The procedure leaves a significant amount of space in your ear that could be useful for storing a Werther’s Original or house keys. Chan denies that the procedure causes someone to become deaf, but he does say that people who have their conch removed will presumably hear differently.
The adjustment period might affect your ability to hear the direction of sound during the first couple of weeks as your mind adjusts to your new ears, he wrote. You are more likely to improve your hearing if you listen from behind.
Hundreds of years ago, when our ears were bigger, we could catch more sound with our ears; for this reason, we can hear better when we cup our hand around our ear to make it larger. The comments section of the website has been upset with that suggestion, with many people arguing that there is no medical need to do this, and that promising better hearing is false advertising.
Although we don’t know much about the specifics, we do know that the oversized piercing appears to be permanent. Whatever you decide to do with your body rests with you, but before you remove a large portion of your ear, you should take some time to consider the future of your look. Making this decision shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Impacts of Conch Removal Techniques
In the opinion of a plastic surgeon who specializes in facial reconstructive procedures, this type of surgery’s ability to improve hearing in behind-the-ear is unproven. According to federal law, any procedure that involves removing skin or cartilage from the body is considered a surgical procedure. In the United States, only doctors with the appropriate medical licenses are allowed to perform surgery. Therefore, a plastic surgeon who specializes in facial reconstructive surgery should be involved.
Since people without a license can’t remove conchs legally in the US, they have to wait until certain other countries. Conch removal can also damage tissue permanently in addition to causing infection. The infection will also scar up the cartilage and ruin the rest. Conch removal is a tricky procedure because there is a risk for infection if the wound is not properly treated afterward.
It is impossible to re-inflate the cartilage once it is shrunken, which will cause the ear to appear shriveled if it becomes infected. The delicate ear tissue will first become red and swollen before scarring develops. Due to the fact they are targeting the soft ear lobe tissue rather than cartilage. Thus, this type of infection is less common when ear gauges are modified. A swimmer’s ear is designed to keep water from entering the canals, so cartilage will prevent that from happening. Also, excessive water in the ear can cause complications.
An operation to reverse conch removal can be done at a high-cost Ear. Reversing an ear conch surgery would take a long time and be very expensive. However, many ear gauge modifications can be reversed. Since US law makes it difficult for places to perform the procedure, finding one is so challenging. To reverse the Conch removal, two separate procedures are needed. A skin graft can replace the conch formerly located in the ear then the ear can be released from its stitched position. Taking the remaining part of the ear and sewing it against the bone behind the ear, called the mastoid area, will aid a skin graft in growing and increase the flow of blood to the ear.
Getting the conch removed would be so arduous that the procedure would cost even more since reversing the ear gauge requires about $500 for each ear. When people reverse their ear modifications, they usually do so because they need to, not because they want to. Many employers won’t accept them because they have body modifications as most choose to have their ears repaired as they have had trouble finding a job due to discrimination, even though our society has become more progressive. A conch is a visible part of the ear but is outside of the body, while the central portion of the ear is located inside the body. In shape, the part resembles a conch shell, which is where the park gets its name.
Conch piercing is one of the most popular things to do with jewelry since it is a very popular part of the ear. The conch of the ear being removed will leave you unable to hear other people and sounds. You may not realize that following this trend will leave you without the ability to hear. The ability to hear should return to normal once your mind adjusts to this change, however, for a few days your hearing may be compromised. A hearing improvement will result from this removal. Despite the conch removal, the Australian man and the artist have experienced backlash.
The removal of the conch will likely affect our hearing ability. The conch collects the sounds that fall into our ears from the ear canal that travel to the eardrum. Those who claim that the conch removal will improve hearing ability claim this is true. Body modification is defined as altering the human body or physical appearance in which the inner portion of his external ear was removed.
It is not just your average breast augmentation or breast piercing. It can also include tattoos and piercings. On Facebook, Bentley posted the finished result of his stitched ears after a body modification artist started circulating the procedure. Sound localization will be affected by removing part of a person’s auricle, which can change the external ear’s shape in any way, affecting their ability to perceive where a sound originates. To hear, you need to be able to hear what someone is saying. When you’re speaking to someone, you prefer that they speak directly to your ear. for instance, someone sitting behind you might have a better chance of hearing you.
It is extremely important to consider the ear shape when considering what else might affect the hearing. A professional piercer should not perform this procedure. Among its hundreds of variations, there are but a few that are truly recognized internationally as this process is only accomplished by a modification specialist. Regarding the actual piercing procedure, you can’t just stroll into any piercing shop and get this done. It only serves aesthetic purposes, as this procedure does not occur frequently. To numb the area and control bleeding, a local anesthetic is used. The skin is sutured over the open edge, at the same time that cartilage is removed with a scalpel.
The wound will heal very quickly if properly completed and cared for. Compared to other body modifications like piercings and tattoos, a procedure like this has higher stakes as reversing this procedure can be extremely complicated, including bleeding, infection, scarring, and wound-healing concerns. Plastic surgeons also have some concerns about the procedure. Plastic surgery procedures with highly complex mechanisms A combination of flaps and grafts The importance of cartilage support network The intricate anatomy of the ear Conch removal cannot easily be reversed.
People without excellent training are doing this type of work, which is necessary to avoid problems. There are likely ramifications for the ability to localize sound that is related to this procedure that directly counteracts millennia of evolution. As a result of functional reasons, ears have developed into the shape they are today.
You should conduct thorough research before you begin.
According to federal law, only doctors with the appropriate medical licenses are allowed to perform surgeries in the United States. According to the definition of surgery, it includes body procedures that involve removing skin or cartilage, so the procedure of removing conches is illegal in the US for anyone without a license. There are other countries where this isn’t the case (including Sweden).
Infection and tissue damage may result from the removal of conchs
A conch removal can cause infection, which is the biggest concern for Dr. Stanislaw. You probably won’t be able to get rid of the bacteria that get inside the cartilage, so you probably will have to be hospitalized and take antibiotics. The infection often scars the cartilage and causes it to fall apart, Stanislaw told INSIDER. Infections may occur if the removal is performed under unsterile conditions or the wound is not properly treated following the procedure.
Stanislaw notes that when the ear is infected, the tissue becomes red and swollen, and then it scars over, causing a shriveled appearance. If the cartilage is shrunken, it can no longer be inflated. Despite their ease of use, ear gauge modifications are less likely to cause this type of infection, since they target soft tissue instead of cartilage. Water accumulation in the ears is another potential complication, as the ear cartilage is designed to keep water from entering the ear canals when swimming or taking a shower.
Surgery can be used to reverse ear conch removal, but it is very expensive
As a result of US law, it is so difficult for Stanislaw to find a place that can perform the procedure, he has never seen someone with a conch removed. However, based on his experience reversing ear gauge modifications, he believes an ear conch surgery reversal would be both time-consuming and costly.
The procedure to revert conch removal would involve two separate steps, Stanislaw says. In the first procedure, the remaining portion of the ear would be sewn to the bone behind the ear called the mastoid bone. Blood will flow to the ear more easily, and the skin graft will grow better as a result. The second part of the procedure consisted of Stanislaw releasing the ear from its sewn-up position and placing the skin graft where the conch was formerly located.
Stanislaw believes reversing the removal of conchs would cost even more since it is such a complex procedure. Reversals to ear gauges cost around $500 per ear.
Most people who get ear modifications reversed do so because they need to, not because they want to. “When I have repaired ear gauges on people, they cry not because they are in pain, but rather because it is like taking away a piece of their identity. This is very upsetting,” Stanislaw shared. According to him, some of his patients opt to have their ears repaired when they have difficulty finding jobs since many employers won’t take them because they have body modifications. Even though society has become more progressive, Stanislaw said people still discriminate.
The Otoplasty procedure involves surgically reshaping the pinna or outer ear. An irregularity might be corrected or the appearance may be improved. A normal distance between the ears and the side of the head is around two centimeters. It is aggravating to have ears that protrude further than this, however. If an individual’s ears have been damaged or if they were born with a congenital anomaly, they may be candidates for reconstructive surgery. An external ear procedure is used to build up or repair the outer ear.
It is possible, however, to have surgery done on the ears to improve their appearance. A procedure known as otoplasty is performed on the ears. Nearly 23,000 otoplasty procedures were performed by plastic surgeons in the United States in 2018, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Here you can learn about otoplasty, including a description of the procedure and the recovery process.
What is the purpose of an otoplasty?
When a person’s outer ear is disfigured, an otoplasty can correct the condition. A minor hearing function is performed by the outer ear. Furthermore, it can also affect how a person appears.
People may feel embarrassment or psychological distress as a result of their ears appearing “too” prominent. Researchers have found that having prominent ears can lead to feelings of low self-esteem, isolation, and lack of confidence for some individuals. Consequently, some people elect to undergo surgery. Children with parents and caregivers that seek surgery before school starts may even miss a year of school.
Does treatment always have to be done?
The need for treatment is not always present. Irregularities can usually be resolved without intervention in some cases. A child can undergo an otoplasty between the ages of five and six years old when 90% of his or her ears have completed their growth. Early childhood development is recommended at this age. Treatment can be completed at any age once this age is reached. Children who start receiving treatment within 2–3 weeks of birth can be helped with a nonsurgical method called ear molding or splinting.
Is there anything that causes prominent ears?
There is usually an angle of about 21–30 degrees between the outer ear and the side of the head. When the angle is greater than 30 degrees, it will appear that the ears are sticking out or are elongated. Genetic features, health conditions, or injuries can affect cartilage development or the shape of the ears. Affected ears can be caused by any one of these factors. The presence of prominent ears should not affect one’s hearing, however.
The appearance of prominent ears tends to run in families, but they may also appear randomly. Around 30% of all children with prominent ears are born with ears that appear normal but then begin to change shape in their first 3 months. Caucasian individuals with prominent ears account for 5% of the population.
What to expect during treatment
Many methods can be employed to reduce ear prominence. We will explore each of these topics in greater detail below.
Molding or splinting of the ear
The procedure is simple and safe and is ideal for infants during their first few weeks of life. Soft ear cartilage is at its most prevalent at this point. Around 6–7 weeks old, the cartilage, which cushions the joint, begins to stiffen. An osteochondroplasty is a surgical procedure that involves reshaping soft cartilage with a splint. As a result, the ear is supported and kept in place by the splint. It is possible to obtain different kinds of splints. These are made of a soft, elastic material that can be molded.
The surgical tape will be applied by the surgeon to attach the splint to the ear. It is recommended that parents and caregivers keep the splint in place 24 hours a day and take their children to the doctor regularly. An infant may have to wear the splint for several weeks to several months. During the next 6 months, the cartilage in your ear will become too hard for splints to remodel. Once this point has been reached, surgery is the only treatment option.
Most otoplasty procedures are performed by plastic surgeons. Some ENT surgeons or pediatric surgeons can perform this procedure. In the case of a child, the surgeon will use a general anesthetic, whereas, for an adult, a local anesthetic will be used. In the future, the physician may apply permanent stitches to hold back the outer ear. This will be done by making an incision behind the ear. There are cases when they may remove part of the cartilage.
Around 1–2 hours will be needed for the procedure. A thin scar will remain behind the ear after the incision, but this scar will fade over time.
Surgery without incision
The possibility exists of avoiding incisions in certain types of surgery. Using these procedures, it is possible to have a quicker recovery and a reduced risk of complications. During the procedure, the cartilage is injected with an acupuncture needle, which increases its flexibility. The ear will be reshaped or repaired using stitches afterward.
Ninety-four percent of people in a study who used a modified version of this technique commented that their ears looked better. It is important to conduct more research to determine whether the treatment is safe and effective.
Additionally, not everyone may be a good candidate for this type of procedure. Those who have prominent ears due to excess cartilage in the ear shell would need a formal procedure called an otoplasty. The reason for this is that the surgeon must cut out some of the cartilage through an incision on the skin.
A person’s recovery will vary to some extent, depending on the type of surgery he or she underwent. An ear dressing is applied after surgery by the doctor. After surgery, the dressing will stay in place for several days. However, the doctor may remove it temporarily the day after surgery to examine the wound for hematomas.
In addition to wearing a protective headband over the ears for several hours at night after the dressing has been removed permanently, a person may need to wear one while sleeping. In this way, the ears can be kept from thrusting forward while sleeping.
A person may notice the following after the procedure:
- Some soreness for a couple of days
- For several weeks, there has been numbness and tingling
- For about two weeks, there is slight bruising
The individual must be capable of:
- Following surgery, they must wash their hair 14 days following surgery
- Within 4–6 weeks, begin swimming
- You can travel whenever you want
- Return to school after a week or two
- After 12 weeks, you can participate in contact sports
If you are unable to perform daily activities, you must consult a physician. There can be complications associated with this procedure. The following are among them:
- Infection. With any surgery, infection is a possible complication. It is important to receive antibiotic treatment as soon as possible to avoid complications.
- Bruising. Under the ear’s skin, a hematoma or blood clot can form. It may appear between 1 and 3 days after surgery. There is a lot of pain in this condition.
- Recurrence. There is a possibility that the ears may become protruding again and revision surgery will be needed.
- Unsatisfactory appearance. It is not uncommon for reconstructive or cosmetic surgery results to be different than what was expected. You may have asymmetrical ears, or you may have them too close to or far away from the head.
- Numbness. Some people may experience numbness in their ears for several weeks following surgery.
There are several causes of cartilage damage, including infections, hematomas, and tightening of sutures. You must seek medical attention immediately to prevent further complications.
Do you think it’s worth it?
Most otoplasty procedures are safe and successful, resulting in high satisfaction rates. German researchers found that people who underwent otoplasty to reduce their ear prominence were satisfied with their quality of life afterward. According to a study published in 2020, the average cost of otoplasty in the U.S. was $3,220, but this usually depends on the provider and how much intervention the patient chooses to receive.
The insurance industry rarely covers otoplasty since it is strictly a cosmetic procedure. Although insurance does not cover reconstructive surgery for traumatically injured ears and procedures for children born without an ear or with severe anomalies, insurance will cover reconstructive surgery in these cases. To maximize the benefits of otoplasty, realistic expectations must be held. While it can make the ears more prominent-looking, it isn’t always possible to achieve perfect symmetry.