Billy’s Cautionary Earlobe Scalpelling Video

Billy writes,

“I dont think it’s a bad idea, just one that should be considered carefully as compared to stretching it’s far more permanent. After the procedure the lowest gauge I can achieve by “shrinking” alone is about 5/8″, if it had been stretched as opposed to scalpelled I would be able to reach a much lower gauge. There are reconstructive options available to me but that is a whole other world! This particular procedure had many problems, mostly caused by inexperience..

DivX download link for BME members: Extreme2 or Full members

I discussed the procedure at length with the practitioner, as I had already planned how I wanted it to happen. I’d have done it myself but wasn’t able to work on my own ears.

So I laid down on the table and a few small slits were made to my lobe, they then tried to force the jewellery into my ear (I asked why this method was being used and was told they didn’t have tapers large enough). A small piece of skin was then removed and more forcing ensued. She then exclaimed “Wow, I just noticed how much bigger this one really is!”

Now I’m scared. I should have stood up right then but I was already bleeding.. “Keep going” she says, “Bite your tongue, you’re gonna feel all of this.” Then, using a sawing motion with her #15 scalpel (I had requested a #21 because she was small and I was worried about her wrists not being strong enough) she hacked out a blob of skin and tried to force the plug in again, still not enough room.

One more go and another blob of skin later and with enough force she managed to get it in there, it was immensely more painful than it had to be that’s for sure! All in all it took about 25 minutes and I bled A LOT.

Before I knew it the combination of adrenaline and blood lust had me agreeing to let her do the other one?!

She says “I know how much skin I have to remove now so the second one won’t be so bad”. She was right, she made two cuts to remove a triangular piece of flesh, it wasn’t quite enough but she forced that sucker in there anyway.. this time it took about 10 minutes.

My healing was slow and gruesome, it looked like hamburger for the first couple of days, the jagged portions of the “hamburger” died and fell away eventually. One of the wounds had deep exposed areas, exposing blood vessels and causing it to bleed for the first week and half, the other lobe only bled for a few days because that one was cut only enough to allow them to be forced in. The combination of stretching and cutting made the “pressure” part of the pain immense for the first week. The stretched parts formed small water blisters that I dealt with using sea-salt soaks.

The body can recover from many things, and now the only problem is a large blow-out on my right lobe in a spot too thin to “trim” it. When I take the plugs out the resulting hole is kind of triangular/a jagged tear-drop shape.

Ear scalpelling is somthing that I’ve worked down to a science! By taking the gauge a person is currently wearing, and the gauge of the new jewellery – a simple equation can give you the area that must be removed.

With the required area attained using that equation a second more complicated equation and a graphing calculater can give you a “bilateral arc” in the shape of the area that needs to be removed, this is then traced on the ear by visually identifying the best spot on the lobe (taking care to avoid any cartilage structure). When removing this skin instead of a flat A to B style cut you start from the front about two to three millimetres below the traced area (more or less, depending on the thickness of the earlobe) and cut upwards so the exit of the incision on the back of the ear is in line with your tracing, thus removing a triangular strip of flesh.

After that’s done you begin tapering (again from the front), this forces that small extra piece of skin you left behind over the wound, thus closing it. It acts as a fistula made of skin. I have seen amazing healing times with this procedure. Sea-salt for a week or two after and you’re good to go!

The procedure I’ve just detailed came from a lot of trial, I wouldn’t be surprised if other people use it as well (I live in nowhereland on the edge of Canada and I’m kinda secluded I think).

The key is a steady hand and good planning.”

* * *

Here’s what a few other practitioners have to say after watching the video..

Patrick Bartholomew

“I would have simply clamped them with mosquito forceps and then cut along the clamp mark – Quicker, easier and far more accurate than using the method shown.”

Pauly Unstoppable

“Well, up until the end it wasn’t so bad, although it showed they had absolutely no idea what they were doing. They had no grasp on the concept of sizing the cut for the jewellery they were putting in, and for that sort of thing I would have removed a little bit of tissue (not just a single cut), any other way would lead to more problems later on. On top of that they were putting what looks like HORN into the lobe, which is by far the dumbest thing you can do with a fresh piercing! I never under any circumstance would recommend putting any kind of organic jewellery into a fresh piercing, especially a freshly cut lobe.

Organic materials are porous and will soak up any discharge and basically rot away which can lead to really bad infections and such.”


“On a personal level I wouldn’t be using iodine/betadine to prepare the tissue due to the whole shellfish allergy aspect, and if I was forced to use it I would go for alcohol followed by iodine/betadine and then alcohol to remove the orange tint from the tissue so it wouldn’t get into the actual working area.

These products are ok for prepping, but on tissue that is healing these products can be very damaging. Also, only the lobe itself has been prepped and not the surrounding tissue/ear, which you notice she is touching constantly.

It seems this person doesn’t understand the math behind lobe scalpelling.. I really don’t see a need for removing and resetting the clamps. She should just be able to make two cuts (maximum of three) and then do the stretch.. There also doesn’t seem to be any method to her cutting. It looks as though she hasn’t planned anything out and is just removing tissue until the plug fits.. I’m curious if she actually got it in the lobe!

The main thing I’m seeing is she’s not using a taper to put tension on the tissue. She’s just trying to ram double flared plus in… not only is this going to cause tearing but it looks like a buffalo horn based plug which is VERY porous and will only cause further problems. Not to mention – Organic material can’t be sterilized. To me the size she’s trying to get to from where this person is at won’t work with the tissue that is there, full stop.

The “artist” isn’t using anything to stablize the tissue she’s cutting which is just going to make it difficult to cut as well as leave a huge margin for error. She’s also wearing a bracelet which is pretty dirty in my eyes. It’s chain based which can and will collect all sorts of fluid and spores.

The constant removal of the clamps isn’t going to allow the tissue to sit naturally and the shifting could cause a double cut and change the angle which the cut was made.

Finally, it looks as though that person might be at 1/2″ and the plug he’s trying to ram in there is at least an 1″ or more!”

Tom Brazda

“Firstly, that kind of jewellery is not suited for a scalpelling, it looks like it’s horn. Organics are porous (ROO – Recurring theme!) and can absorb blood and lymph from the wound, plus they can’t be sterilized. Also it’s obviously too big, there is a limit to how much of a stretch that can achieved with scalpelling and most the time your only going to go up two sizes.

A simple slit is not enough, a triangular piece of tissue needs to be removed at the very least. The piece removed needs to be done in such a way that the new hole retains a smooth outer apearance. A simple slit leaves two points along the new edge and all that happens is that these fold outwards.

Oh ya, and they don’t know what they are doing!”

Russ Foxx

“A few things I saw that I don’t agree with:

1: The jewellery is not something I would use due to the double flares.

2: The jewellery is much too large of a jump from where he was in the first place.

3: The cuts were placed in bad spots. I’d never cut the bottom of a lobe, let alone cut one in more than one spot.

4: Tapers and single flare jewelry would have made much more sense.”

51 thoughts on “Billy’s Cautionary Earlobe Scalpelling Video

  1. Is she putting double flaired horn plugs in his ears?

    …i feel bad for that guy. i’m curious to see how his ears actually look now.

  2. PS: i just read all the comments from the other piercers.

    i guess there isn’t much more to be said!

  3. Oh good god.

    After watching this at work at a slower point during the day, we’re a bit in shock by the entire procedure in general. The lack of procedural knowledge during the entire process is appalling. We hope his ears are doing well!

  4. Wow, I was watching it and wondering whether that was horn and thinking “Nooooooo” I figured the rest of it seemed a little unprofessional although I’m not knowledgable enough to judge, but having read the pro’s comments I guess if it seems wrong it probably is! Many thanks to everyone involved in putting this up, I think it’s invaluable to have it out there.

  5. a cheap tripod is 25 dollars, folks.

    I really appreciate what shannon is doing in documenting BM culture and happenings. I think its historically important. Lets try to give him better data to work with, eh?

    That said, I suppose wobbly something is better than steady nothing.

  6. i agree with brian…that’s not something well done…it does not even has any planning on the cutting to be done!!!
    i just wish practitioners spend the time really needed to do this kind of procedure….a single cut does not do the work at all…

  7. christ almighty she fucking butchered his lobe, and to top it off she is using an organic (it’s horn I’ve seen those exact plugs on a jewelry website) for healing jewelry and they are double flared, the whole thing is fucked. When I had my lobes scalpeled it took one small cut and a taper to get from 3/4 up to 1 inch not a big jump but my one lobe was too thin to stretch, I totally understand what he means by saying he can’t downsize that much just by not wearing jewelry, I went naked for around 3 months and could’nt get them to go down past 5/8

  8. hell… wrong jewelry, wrong method, I usually do scalpelling for initial earlobes in 8 or 10 mm as much (also depending on anatomy) and disagree to use it to get bigger sizes like 10 to 20 or 30 for example, is kinda “lobecide”!!! why don’t stretch it normally??? I think scalpelling must be used to relocate old medium – big lobe piercings… (I also prefer to use scalpels to do more than 10 gauge piercings (and depending on body part of course), 8 and 6 gauge needles are bad for long term piercings in my opinion)

  9. oohhhh my god. not only must that have hurt, but the healing for that must have killed his lobes.

  10. This makes me quite sad. People should know that if they aren’t experienced in a procedure, don’t play the “well I’ll give it a shot” card, refer to someone who knows what the hell theyre doing. Also, no, bone is not a good idea AT ALL, as several have said and stated the reasons for. I really feel bad for the person getting this procedure. I had my ears scalpelled (thanks to pauly unstoppable, who I would recommend to anyone) and it took maybe a minute to cut and put the jewelry in, I can only imagine how uncomfortable this must have been during and after the fact when having to heal it. I dont imagine the long term effects are going to be too great either, seeing as she cut down instead of up.

    I’m not a piercer or anything, but my advice to practitioners such as this one that obviously doesnt know what shes doing is: if you’re unsure, than don’t do it, leave it to someone who wont fuck it up.

  11. Oh goodness… I can’t believe they put horn in a freshly scalpeled procedure, that is just breeding ground for trouble.. Not to mention the procedure itself.

  12. I cant understand the need for scalpeling to a size like that. I was a pretty impatient while stretching my ears and didn’t listen to advice as much as i should have, but managed to stretch to healthy 1 inch lobes in about a year through the tape stretching method. I recently decided to downsize and my lobes have happily shrunk to about 1/2 their previous size. I think people should only scalpel when really necessary.

  13. It doesn’t take a practitioner to see that there is no way that plug is going in that small of a hole. Putting the wrong batteries in that flashlight.

  14. Scalpelling offers you different shapes of ear piercing (sometimes for aesthetic reasons, sometimes due to a poor initial placement) as well as the ability to “fast forward” the process of stretching… I definitely wouldn’t call it a “cheat” or anything.

    Lots of paths up the mountain…

  15. Sweet god that was painful to watch – I never appreciated how smooth of a procedure I had when I had my lobes scalpelled… this chick is a hack! As the person videoing the procedure I would have grabbed my poor, butchered friend and RAN the second or third time she tried to jam that plug in there… holy hell.

  16. God, I wish someone’d out that woman.
    This video made me fucking sick. Just because somebody can pierce a navel or a nostril, they think they can pick up a fucking scalpel and it’ll be dandy.
    I am also glad, after reading the explanation, that the fellow being butchered took some responsibility for not walking out, either during prep or after one ear had been fucked up.
    I wish more piercees would feel comfortable enough to stand up for themselves when they think something is going wrong; all the planning and discussion in the world means naught if you can’t be your own best advocate in the face of a “professional.”
    I’m pretty glad that years and years of in-depth medical shit and a really naggy mother prepared me for this sort of thing.

  17. Wow, I’m not in any way a piercer, doctor, or any type of professional medic, and I can tell that was terrible from the start. Danggg

  18. So I am wondering who is more at fault here? The practicioner or the guy who seems to have it down to a science and went through with this.

    I watched the video even though I did not wanyt to finish it my GF did as she just had her ears scalpeled by me and wanted to see what happened or what did not happen to her! I could not even finish reading what this guy said. Since he has ear scalpeling down to a science.

    i just have to say two things. run if anyone ever tries to get you to let them do this to you if
    One you see WBH or any other organic or other porous jewelry!
    Two if they are gonna use double flared jewelry!

    By knowing these two basic things you will save yourself this type of torture.

    I will say to that when you scalpel someones ears you dont remove any tissue either. Unless you are bridging something very large. And even then you try to salvage as much of the lobe as possible.

    To this guy who says he has it down to a science. Since you seem to know so much about ear scalpeling, what number blade they should use and how it should be done. Thank you for your video showing the world how it should not be done. From the jewelry, the flare and allowing the person to continue with the first let alone go ahead and do the other one too.

    Thanks for the submision.

    Steve Bennett

  19. Whats the saying…”Scalpel one ear badly, shame on you…letting the same person scalpel the other ear badly, shame on me.” Yup, thats it.

    I don’t feel bad for this person…because its always the people that should know better. He obviously researched *somewhat* into the procedure but none into who he picked to execute it.

  20. it’s wholly confusing to me when people go ahead with a procedure, without doing any sort of research and end up totally screwing someone.. i remember the time i did a slightly crooked DIY navel piercing on a friend in jr. high and it still haunts me. how can people not feel shame or guilt when they totally mess someone up due to their ignorance?

  21. I literally can’t stop shaking my head…

    theres not much i can say that has not already been mentioned…

    one thing i will say, which was instilled in me from day one from the person who taught me, is this:

    “If you are not comfortable with what you are doing, don’t do it… if you have no clue what you are doing, but still feel the need to be a hero, STOP WHAT YOU ARE FUCKING DOING AND LET SOMEONE WITH EXPERIENCE DO IT”

    i think that pretty well speaks for itself

  22. dear sweet god what the f went on there?

    I felt like i witnessed something so horrifying it should have never been captured on camera.

    Ugh. I hope dude’s ear hasn’t fallen off, and that he’s doing okay, and that the butcher who did that to him, that she’s got a new job at the Dunkin Donuts. Piercing is not her forte.

  23. Uuuuuuuuuuuuuugh. The poor guy’s ear, she hacked at it like a piece of wood.

  24. excuse my french…but what a douche bag….that was fucking horrible…no sense at all for what they were doing

  25. Sweet jesus christ on a bicycle, you know something’s wrong right from the start when there’s no markings before the scalpelling. Measure twice, cut once not measure zero times cut 5.
    I just got a lobe scalpelled because I had built up scar tissue from getting my ears pierced by a gun as a kid and thusly infected so stretching didn’t work past 0g. Therefore patience isn’t a factor and scalpelling isn’t always cheating even if not for pure aesthetics.
    Usually modification doesn’t make me cringe at all but I was flinching like hell just watching this and I think I’ll give my piercer a big hug next time I see him for being incredibly professional and for me being lucky that my experience wasn’t even slightly as horrid as this.

  26. kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk



  27. i may re-post after i watch the whole thing….i got not quite half-way through and got skeeved out.

    that being said, i got my right lobe scalpeled and tapered to 3/4″ by Sean (LexTalonis) and it was the easiest, quickest mod i’ve had to date and it turned out beautifully.

    and i got mine scalpeled to get rid of a chunk of scar tissue i got from stretching too fast and collapsing my ear lobe.

  28. i just watched the whole thing with my hands over my mouth saying “oh my god” over and over.

    in what fucking universe did she think that jewelry was going to fit into that lobe???

    and the “sawing” action with the scalpel almost made me throw up.

  29. Damn, that was crazy!
    Really feeling sorry for the dude.

    Have had both my lobes cut, and it was a really simple procedure and healing was easier than a standard ear piercing.
    And with anesthetics it doesn’t even need to be a more painful experience then an ear piercing.

    Just remember that stretching is the best option if it’s available. I hate it when people cut their ears as a “quick-fix”… It’s the end result that is important, not the time it takes to reach it.

  30. I had my ears cut from 1/2″ to 3/4″. Each ear took maybe 5 minutes and was done with one cut. She measured out a little under 1/4″ inch at the top/outside of the lobe so once the jewelry was in, it would be tight and wouldn’t bleed out. Because one cut was made, there were very small flaps of skin that were tucked into the jewelry. One healed perfectly back into the lobe, the other died and fell off. We used single flare pyrex eyelits. The sun is good for the healing process so they were clear.
    I’m now at 1″ and my lobes look perfect.

  31. I think the worst part about this is that the “practitioner” in this case won’t be outed. I don’t know how someone who knows who did this and isn’t letting it be common knowledge can live with themselves.

  32. There are reasons for removing tissue in lobes. There are reasons for not removing tissue. There are times that double flared jewelry works wonderfully for ear scalpling. There are times when double flares don’t work at all.

    This person seems to have no reasons for anything. That’s the scary part.

    No surgical or medical aseptic technique. No pre-drawn guide lines or plan marks. No back-up jewelry sizes. No concept of how to use a scalpel blade.

    Pathetic. But for good reason!

  33. Ok, so the last time I cut lobes it was from 00g to 3/4. It was a huge jump! She had the best lobes for it. Three cuts were made, one vertical, one horizontal and one to remove tissue between them. The inital piercings were not in the same place, so tissue removal helped with fixing that. Now the procedure only took 5 mins for each lobe. that video was about 5 mins long and she didn’t even have the plug in. few tips for you all that want to go to a hack. First if the don’t make eye contact with you when you ask “have you ever done this before?” whatever comes out next is bullshit. The practicner should be able to answer any questions with confidence. Next ask to see a porfilio. If you decide that they are the on for you, watch there set-up. Make sure they wash there hands, don clean or preferably sterile golves. Sterile gloves should be worn just before they touch you(after the tools are open and you are preped and marked) Ask about how they are going to cut. Someone that know how to cut will not cut like the hack in the video. I usually “pierce” with the scalpel at the end of the line that I drew and then drag (not saw) the blade toward the original hole. that takes the risk away of cutting too much. Jewelry shuld be non-poris and bio-compatable. I like glass. When going more then 3/8″ the tissue folds may need to be removed to prevent a “blow-out”. I hope that this may have saved someone from getting multilated like the poor kind in the video. ” hey, how come she gets to wear a braclet and a watch when she works?” My boss told me that we risky for me and my clients! It’s not fair!

  34. Please tell us who this is so none of us will have to endure having our flesh hacked off by this sloppy butcher.

  35. ive been at 00g for a while now
    and the past six months my right hear got downsized to a 0g
    and there is still damage from the blowout
    but the slack looks pretty healthy its just that my streching is on pause pretty much

    can sum1 direct me what to do and where to go

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