Self-Induced Infection Leading to Amputations

Following up on yesterday’s amputation post…

A friend of mine in South Africa was looking to amputate a toe, and instead of chopping it off himself, he chose to induce an infection so serious that it had to be amputated by doctors. After getting an infection intially, he kept the infection getting worse by standing in dirty fish ponds, putting motor oil on it, and more (first photo). After doctors amputated the toe (second photo), the infection remained, and doctors were forced to do a midfoot ampuation (third photo) that’s almost approaching a “hoof” as it heals. The procedure is totally different, but in a way it reminds me of Chinese foot binding.

I know a number of folks who’ve chosen to “induce” amputation by the medical community using infections, and I must strongly emphasize that this is far more dangerous than simply doing the amputation yourself because infections of this severity can easily go systemic and be fatal — far better off faking a woodworking accident, hunting accident, or something of that nature that fits ones lifestyle and then seeking immediate medical attention.

Update: Read the interview!

This entry was posted in ModBlog and tagged , , by Shannon Larratt. Bookmark the permalink.

About Shannon Larratt

Shannon Larratt is the founder of BME (1994) and its former editor and publisher. After a four year hiatus between 2008 and 2012, Shannon is back adding his commentary to ModBlog. It should be noted that any comments in these entries are the opinion of Shannon Larratt and may or may not be shared by LLC or the other staff or members of BME. Entry text Copyright © Shannon Larratt. Reproduced under license by LLC. Pictures may be copyright to their respective owners. You can also find Shannon at Zentastic or on Facebook.

96 thoughts on “Self-Induced Infection Leading to Amputations

  1. The cynic in me says that you’ve posted this to throw more flame on the fire that is the comments in yesterday’s post :)

    Unfortunate that the infection spread past your friend’s intentions :(

  2. I dunno why, but I really enjoy the 1st photo.

    The Q-Tip inside reminds me of cleaning fun times. :)

    The hoof is kind of a neat result, something oddly natural about it.

  3. very interesting!but he didn’t get what he want…and along this way its a sad story…

  4. I think this is very dangerously irrepsonsible…plus as said before, he didn’t get what he originally wanted…I wonder what’s his though on the result

  5. You know.. I’m so incredibly openminded, but… that officially crosses the border between interesting and stupid. That’s just…. meh. I was fine with the other DIY guy. NOt this one. Meh.

  6. Fucking dumb cunt.

    Bit of a pity it didnt keep spreading isnt it? Asshole holding up people who really do need surgury/the attention of a doctor just so he can take the easy way out of doing an amputation, leaving himself no other option.

    And to the same old people who always say “but its his body he can do what he wants blah blah blah” FUCKING SUCK MY COCK YOU DUMB MOTHERFUCKERS WHO THINK THAT THIS IS ANYTHING MORE THAN A CRY FOR ATTENTION.


    The end

  7. I have to agree with Post #3…there’s something that seems irresponsible about these actions. Yes, I understand the desire of wanting to change one’s body, in whatever forms that may take–including amputation–but there is something about these very deliberate actions that frightens me because of the potential of losing control.

  8. I think some people here should stop drinking coffee…

    Anyway, wow… That’s a really hardcore way to get rid of your toe. And very dangerous (he could easily have poisoned his blood).
    I’d like to know what were his motivation for using such a method.

  9. I would agree that “inducing an infection” is by far more dangerous than a self-done amputation, because you can’t really control an infection.

    I really don’t see why people get so angry over amputations, sure, they are more extreme, but removing sections of flesh(such as punches or even tounge splitting) versus removing digits doesn’t really seem like a far stretch to me. If it is what the person wants and they are happier with it (or should i say without it? hah) then it shouldn’t matter. Not to mention, i think that if you have the balls to chop off your own body parts, go for it.

    Haha, Anyways, I’ve heard in something like 500-1000 years we won’t have our smallest toes (pinky toes?) anymore, because we’ve worn shoes for so long that we no longer need it for balance and such. I wish I’d be alive to see that!

  10. “I think some people here should stop drinking coffee…”

    Excellent comment :) some people are far too excitable. As I sit here with the days’ eighth mug…

    This is the first time since its inception that two posts in a row have made me cringe. Nail infections get me, too :p Congratulations!

    I confess I do have *slight* sympathy with the viewpoint that he’s holding up people with infections they *didn’t* choose to get, but frankly, if there was an easier and safer “official” route offered I’m pretty sure he would have taken that. Besides, I imagine a fair proportion of the people who let infections get that bad accidentally before they seek medical attention are far more worthy of a Darwinian fate! After all, look at how much effort he had to conciously put in to get it that bad. And people manage that accidentally!

    Actually – that only applies if he didn’t go private.

  11. I love tattoos and things of the kind, but I don’t understand this level of stupidity.

  12. This just made me think of how when you get into situations like this you end up getting(or in his case losing) a lot more than you bargained for…I think I’d much rather chop off a body part and deal with the psychiatric treatment that’s bound to follow than have to go through what this guy must have gone through.

    I hope it was worth it:/

  13. “Far better off faking a woodworking accident, hunting accident, or something of that nature that fits ones lifestyle and then seeking immediate medical attention.”

    Either that or, I dunno, not do it and walk around on healthy feet. That’s what I’d do.

  14. #15, chel…
    “but removing sections of flesh(such as punches or even tounge splitting) versus removing digits doesn’t really seem like a far stretch to me”

    some one on the other topic said something along those lines as well… but used tongue piercing as an example, anyways… its not on the same level at all… punches and tongue splitting dont really alter the way your body functions(im sure there are exceptions)its an alteration in appearance only… where as amputation can completely alter your body structure… just think this poor(stupid) individual will have to use a cane, a prostesis or simply limp the rest of his life… now he made a conscious decision to do so… this is completely beyond a dermal punch… you are altering your body in a negative way… and one way or another it will catch up with you…

  15. #20. its only a “negative” way to you – I highly doubt that this guy or the guy in the post previous care if they have a slight limp, need to use a cane or a prostesis.

  16. Seeing things like this make me wish doctors would just do what people ask them to do, as long as it’s not life threatening. There’s no harm in wanting to remove a toe if it’s done properly. Unfortunately, we brand these people as mentally ill if they ask for this kind of work, so it pushes them to extremes like this to get it.

    If someone wants something, they’ll do it. No matter what it takes. Why shouldn’t we help them do it safely?

  17. retarded and gross. feel free to judge me for judging others :P

    now, just because i think this is stupid, doesn’t mean im against people doing this. i think people should be as fucked up as they want to be

  18. Ty Tweeder:

    I don’t think it’s fair to say that all amputations are altering the body in a negative way. Without being the person desiring the amputation, you have no way to know how that will effect them. I do agree that this is probably the most reckless way to do something like this, and he probably got more interference with the function of his foot than he was after initially. But the argument that ‘this would be detrimental to my life, so it must be wrong for yours too’ does not make much sense to me. I’m not sure that it applies for this post, because a partial foot amputation was not what this man originally intended, but perhaps the person in the last post would prefer to limp, or use a cane, or perhaps he will be able to adapt and walk normally, how are we to know?

    You could compare it to full body tattooing. Look at people like the Lizard Man, or Lucky Diamond Rich, and you could say that they have completely altered the way that they have to interact and function in society. A lot of people would consider the consequences of standing out like that to be detrimental, but they both seem to be quite happy and well adjusted. Don’t you think the same thing is possible for self-amputees?

    Just my thoughts.

  19. Wow…that does seem to be pushing it a bit more than the last post, since he lost control over it, but hey, live and let live. Hope it heals alright though, and hope he likes the end result. :)

    Now, to Je Suis and TyTweeder…why are you guys bashing people and saying you wish the infection would get worse? That’s just stupid…you’re wishing death on someone just because you don’t agree with their choices…they didn’t do anything to you, so why are you being douchebags to them? It’s their life, let them do with it what they want. It’s not for you, but that’s why *they* did it, not you. If you don’t like the stuff you see on modblog, no one is forcing you to come.

  20. Oh, and it does remind me of Chinese foot binding…not the process, but the result. I had a class that studied that last spring and it looked a lot like this…interesting.

  21. I’m with The Eternal on this.

    Self inflicted shot wounds or other accidents, infections that go beyond the effect they should have, all this dangerous stuff and the needless suffering could be avoided if people could just go to a doctor and have the modification they need done under safe and secure circumstances.

  22. I agree with several others here: This passes beyond the line of “extreme modification” and crosses right in to just plain *stupid*.

    I have no problems with DIY amputation, but DIY infect-myself-so-badly-I-could-die-in-the-hopes-some-doctor-will-cut-off-part-of-my-body…

    Just stupid. This person isn’t “expressing themself”, they’re calling out for help. This is not a healthy expression of an inner desire, it’s a pathological expression of an unbalanced mind.

    That’s my opinion.

  23. #20 TyTweeter

    You may see it as altering their body in a negative way, but for that person, they may see it as a positive. Like i said, as long as they want it and are willing to take steps to do it -hopefully as safely as possible- I don’t see why you can say that it is wrong.

    Also, not all amputations leave the person “crippled” the removal of a finger, toe, or even part of one can be a very positive and spiritual thing for someone.

  24. >>29

    Check the date on that pubring entry. It’s an April Fool’s Day post, this came up before.

    (Not to make any statement about taking off a finger, certainly people have done that/had it done for a while now…)

  25. Oh, I guess I want to say something to #20 ty tweeder too…. what makes you assume that amputation is defacto “negative” alteration of the body? That’s a purely subjective label. For my part, I don’t think it’s negative at all if someone wants to chop off a hunk of their body… as long as THEY are happy with the results in their entirety.

    BUT… if what you want is to hack off a chunk of your body, getting it infected to the point where it threatens your life so that someone ELSE will chop it off… that is just plain stupid. The dangers involved with such a maneuver are far beyond reasonable and completely outweigh the benefits and again, I think it’s an expression of a pathologically unbalanced mind.

  26. A little OT, but I love how often I see that April fool’s experience referenced as fact! I think to date it’s still my favourite IAM April 1st.

  27. to me bodymodification is adding beauty not removing usefull things. but as long as someone doesnt influence others life ( like needing help, not beeing able to earn their own money anymore) do whatever pleases you!

  28. #35, Lil Miss Strange, this person’s decision to idiotically and critically injure themselves to get a doctor to amputate DOES effect other people, such as the people with genuine physical maladies (as opposed to this individuals mental illness) who need this doctor’s attention.

    And before anyone cries “Please, the doctor has time to handle each patient obviously” remember that small actions can create huge reactions. This person’s self-indulgent foolishness may have, in some small way, contributed to the serious ongoing pain and suffering of another person waiting to see the doctor(s) involved. To me that’s unacceptable and arrogant in the extreme. Really, the more I think about it the more incensed I am at this fool’s actions. If it were only himself that he were needlessly endangering that would one thing. But using a doctor’s precious time to attend to something as utterly dumb as this….

  29. Amputating by this manner is ignorance on it’s greatest level. Don’t bitch at me for being narrow minded about amputation, I’m perfectly fine with it but creating an infection to obtain that modification is just plain stupid. If you have an opposing argument to that, try me.

  30. #38 Mikey, this isn’t about wanting to get amputated. There’s a serious issue at play here, the amputation is the result not the cause.

  31. One of the major problems I have here is the association that those watching will make. We are all here because we love body art in some way yet how many of us truly want to be associated with these kind of actions ?

    When someone looks up Body Modification on the net I want them to see the beautiful aesthetic contributions that we all make to world of Body Art. I don’t want them associating us with these kind of deliberate negative elements and as such I feel that situations like this are nothing to do with genuine modification.

  32. Ditto to number 28. Has the infection-inducing amputation method been implemented in Canada before? I think it’d be completely assbackward to make taxpayers pay for someone else’s purposeful irresponsibility.


    what a joke… i would have liked to think that society was getting smarter… im wrong i know but i would like to think it was. i cant off the top of my head recall any other society in history that had people lobbing their own limbs off… there has always been tatting and peircing… they are seen as enhancing beauty and all that bullshine… but amputation… fuck off… i have no respect for this. zero.
    im sure my post seem incoherent and hard to follow… but its jsut becuz im flabbergasted at people supporting others for doing this… i mean i used to have a problem with implants, but i grew to accept them, i still dont like the way 98.99% of them look but i can understand why people would want to do it. amputation on the other hand i will never understand… flame on im loving this topic…

    wait a minute though… i just thought of a good reason to amputate… in the movie “the prestige” when christian bale amputates his twins fingers to match his own that hugh jackman shot off… or in “saw” when that dude had to saw off his own foot… but wait… these people did it for a reason… and they were just movies… oh well…

  34. #36

    So, based on your belief should he have been ‘pushed to the back of the line’ as far as getting medical care so that people with legitimate problems would be seen first? Yes, what he did was stupid and yes, I think it is utterly ridiculous to purposefully infect yourself, but should we just let him die of a systemic infection because he did it to himself?

    What about people with drug addiction problems who overdose? Should we let them die instead of getting them medical attention because ‘they did it to themselves’? Or people who try to commit suicide? How about someone who goes and gets a piercing, then it becomes infected? It’s their fault because they weren’t taking care of it properly; does that mean we shouldn’t treat them?

    Everyone deserves medical treatment, regardless of how the injury was sustained and whether or not you agree with it.

  35. >>45
    No, they shouldn’t let him die. But they shouldn’t shrink back from telling him just how reckless and selfish he was, either.

  36. #46
    I agree.. I would hope at some point the people treating him required him to undergo some type of psychological evaluation. I know that is mandatory practice in the hospitals here in the United States to get a psychiatric consultation whenever someone has self-mutilated, but seeing as how this is South Africa; I’m sure their policies vary greatly.

  37. i dont think the doctor side of this has anything to do with anything… i mean… people with real problems needing to be amputated most likely already had to wait a few days… whats a couple days more? the whole doctor hospital process is all about waiting anyways… anyone bringing that up is just ignoring the topic at hand…
    also… imagine the different tune everyone would be singing if this guy did die from infection… ponder that

  38. I have literally JUST finished eating dinner.. and the first thing I click on is that first picture. Usually I’m immune to all modblog entries.. but.. eeeshk. This one has made my food come up a little.

  39. Oh my god. No. Just… no. GROSS GROSS GROSS WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO DO IT WITH AN INFECTION!? If I wanted an amputation I would much rather get it off with an ax than INFECT MY FOOT. And he didn’t get his resired result either… I like the previous amputation better than this, because it seems so much less stupid and more… logical…?

  40. Do Not Try This At Home.

    And do you think we could discuss this without resorting to the sort of language Je Suis used? Tres stupide, n’est-ce pas? (never have figured out how to add accents in Windows….)

  41. Anything like this really conflicts with me.
    In one way I belive they have the total right to do whatever they want to their own bodies – which they do.
    I guess some would say amputation is equal to wanting a sex change in the sense that THE person feels they have been born into something they truly feel is not right for them.
    On the other hand I have to ask if they’re even related at all.
    I’m not sure what would posess someone to want to have their foot amputated, and I probably never will but I suppose if he is happy with it, then good for him.

  42. Just to come in on the side of comments like 22 and 45. Just because someone wants to do something that is outside “normal” societies boundaries doesn’t mean that it is wrong. If we had a path to follow for this we could avoid having to go to extremes like this, or spring loaded wood chisel “accidents”. I’m not saying that it shouldn’t include some counselling to weed out those after attention (similar to sex change opperation consultation), but for those who need something like this, the option should be available to them. Just my two cents. And, yes, I’m probably over-valuing them :)

  43. To number 43: Amputation was used as an initiation rite in many primitive societies, usually as entrance into a shamanic fraternity. Certain japanese groups use amputation as a way to erase a flaw on an individuals honor. So it has always been there.

  44. Amputation is the oldest form of documented body modification.

    The comment forums on these heavy modification posts are fascinating filters revealing who “gets it” and who doesn’t… It’s fine if people don’t want this type of thing for themselves, but whining about it reflecting poorly on your little tattoos is ridiculous, and really, it when I see these posts, I worry that they’re coming from people who will deeply regret those tattoos in the future because they’re conceptualizing them as a fashion statement rather than a state of being.

    BME is about body modification. Perhaps some readers would be better off with fashion magazines, which BME very much is not. Certainly there is a cross over, and fashion imitates and takes inspiration from body modification, but the foundation is NEVER fashion.

  45. > #40


    If you wish not to be associated with such things why are you here? Last time I checked this was BME not a body art website.
    For all your negativity I don’t understand why you don’t create your own website so you can make it everything you want it to be.

    Only through education and exposure to such things will the mainstream public ever come to any kind of understanding. And only through sharing our experiences can we perfect modifications and hopefully prevent the negative aspects of them.

    You are obviously an intelligent guy but sometimes you just don’t get it.

  46. Manini – I don’t have the time or energy to start a website although I will be doing my PhD on Cultural influences on Identity which I intend to get published. Don’t hold your breath though as I have around 6 years to sort it out.

  47. by far this is probably the strangest thing in which i’ve witnessed on this site. And i’ve seen a lot. Not only do I think its totally thoughtless to infect yourself causing such a serious after affect, but just the misery someone must go through while they have the infection?

  48. #45 Amber…

    Pardon me, but… what are you talking about?

    You might want to re-read my post. I never suggested that he or anyone suffering from self-inflicted injuries should not receive care, YOU are the one who put my words through your OWN filter and came up with that result.

    I stated clearly that his behavior is reckless and foolish, both of which are fine. BUT… it’s also unfair to others with genuine problems needing medical attention. and to me that’s where it crosses the line from “fine” to “no”. For this unbalanced person to put his own completely narcissistic needs ahead of others who genuinely need medical attention for problems beyond their control is the height of arrogance and scorn for others who are genuinely suffering in my opinion.

    Furthermore none of that is my “belief”, it’s a fact: A doctor (probably several) used their time and resources treating a person who PURPOSEFULLY infected their foot so as to have parts of it amputated. Fact. Since this happened in South Africa there’s a slim chance he paid for the procedure himself (if he’s well to do), but much more likely is that he used the already over-taxed state provided health care system, meaning guess what? Someone else footed the bill (so to speak) for this foolish activity. Disgusting.

    Anyhow, the point is: This person used time, energy, medical resources and probably money that should have been devoted to someone who actually NEEDED them. I find that reprehensible.

    Should he have been denied care? Duh, of course not. Should he be evaluated for institutionalization? Of course.

    In response to Shannon’s comments about who “gets it” and who doesn’t… I couldn’t disagree more. This is a situation where someone has consciously injured themselves in a way that requires medical attention and resources… attention and resources that could be given to others who genuinely need it. That’s FAR different than doing something extreme that I don’t personally agree with, but harms no one other than the person doing it. The first is reprehensible. The second is a clear case of “your body, your life, have fun”.

    Don’t assume that because someone disagrees with a certain modification that means they’re foolish, ignorant or any of the other labels employed to ostracize people for having an opinion that differs with the double-standard of “tolerance” employed in these discussions. People have different points of view, that’s what makes the world (and these discussions) interesting.

  49. I don’t completely understand why people get so pissed off about amputation. It doesn’t bother me at all when its done responsibly. What people do to their own bodies has no effect on my life, or my modifications. BUT, this was reckless, and I can’t imagine the awful, festering pain this guy must have experienced.

  50. D:

    Doing it yourself is one thing. (“Keep yours laws off my body,” blah blah blah.) Dragging health care providers into it is another entirely. Suicide by cop, anyone?

  51. I’m sorry he chose to do the amputation in this manner. Unless of course he doesn’t mind a more radical outcome. I don’t think giving himself an infection was smart because it’s not something that can be controlled and very well could have poisoned his system or gone to his heart valve etc…but perhaps this person felt the need to nullo so strongly that he felt it was worth the risk of death.

    I’ve heard men wanting castration so badly that they slashed/mutilated their scrotums in hopes a doctor would have to finish the job for them in the emergency room. THAT I can understand, and they didn’t put dirty water/oil/shit/whatever in the wounds to create an infection, either.

    I don’t know what to think of this one.
    Maybe if doctors would recognize the need to nullo as a lifestyle choice then it wouldn’t come to such desperation.
    I just don’t know…

  52. I don’t understand why when people get things added to their body for aesthetic reasons, society accepts it. If a woman wants to get a boob job, no one says anything because it’s become so common. But when someone wants to remove something from their body for aesthetic reasons, people freak out. I DO NOT AGREE with what the person in this post did to have is body modified just because he liked how it would look, it was stupid and dangerous

    But why are there still people making comments about voluntary amputees like: “That’s sick, what the fuck?” and “He’s crazy, what a psycho.” People don’t make comments like that about breast implants…

    And why will plastic surgeons fix people’s noses and remove ribs to make people skinnier, and implant fake chins, but won’t amputate something to make a person happy. If they’re sure that’s what they want, and they will pay for the procedure, I don’t get why surgeons won’t do it. It’s the same thing as getting a nose job – taking out bone/cartilage to change it’s appearance. It’s sad that people are having to resort to DIY amputations ad go get so drastic, like the person in this post did.

  53. ok I am not here to pass judgement . and although Im not into the whole amputee thing … I would chop my toes off too if they looked as fucking putrid as his did beforehand .. yuck ! talk about dematifite infestation ! maby he would not have resorted to this had someone just givin him some Tough actin Tenactin !

  54. It’s their body (thinking about the other post as well) – if they want to lop off a toe it is their choice. I would have issues if someone told me I couldn’t modify my body the way I choose to. My issue would be with the infection side of things – it is just way too easy to get septicemia – I know two people who have died of non-self induced septicemia it’s not pretty. I don’t really understand why you would want to induce an infection when it could be done in a clean and hygienic manner.

  55. Haz ennyone heartd the NOFX son, “She’s Nubs?” Umm.. My mind conjures the varied smellz involved in this one…

  56. Yanno, it squicks me. in a big bad way. but I’m not gonna say people shouldn’t do it. Maybe people should seek better ways of doing it… but I’m not gonna say they shouldn’t do it…

    To each their freaky, sticky, smelly, bloody own…

  57. I don’t get it.

    And I’m not talking about the amputation. I don’t get how people get so worked up over something that someone they never met did to their own body.

    Guess what, we only get these bodies for 70 years or so. That is a very small drop of time. Have fun with it. If getting circumcised, having a new piercing, getting new tits, microdermals, amputation, castration, dying your hair, wearing colored contacts, or anything else in the world makes you feel complete, go for it. Because you don’t have much time in your body, you might as well be comfortable in it and have the one you feel as though fits you best.

  58. It’s sad, that even in this community, people will name call, and discriminate aginst someon elses mods. Not that this is something that i could ever do, but i’m very intrigued. i reccomend anyone else who is interested look up the documentary “whole”. ( )its a REALLY good look @ apotemnophilia,
    AS for myself, i’ve been collecting Risqu’e amputee photo’s and amputee pornography for some time now.

    i just cant image the inner strength it must take to carry through some of the “Accidents” it takes to get an amputation…. like using a shotgun on your leg. it’s amazing.

    I say anyone choosing these types of mods for themselves….. AWESOME! do what you do and have fun with it. just keep a steady supply of pics and videos. and if yer a cute girl doing it, make sure you show some skin and EMAIL ME !!!!

  59. “I don’t get how people get so worked up over something that someone they never met did to their own body.”

    I don’t get worked up about what people do to their own bodies, it’s their own business and good luck to them… unless it negatively impacts OTHER people along the way.

    Creating an infection so you can use up medical resources and doctor’s time to achieve a “look” you want is criminal in my opinion, and that’s exactly what happened here.

    Disengage assumptions, re-engage critical thinking please.

  60. Why has everyone bashed everything Giles wrote since the breast implant tattoo? I happen to agree with him 100% on this one.

  61. There had to be a plastic surgeon somewhere who would do this procedure in an official way. Or, at least a body modification artist, or even a friend. (hey, if it got infected, he’d've had the same result!) I feel like if this person had looked hard enough, he could have made an appointment with /someone/ and not have so strongly endangered his own life and those patients whose care was delayed because of his choice.

    Of course, if he had insurance, it was probably cheaper this way. Something tells me his policy wouldn’t cover “cosmetic toe removal.”

  62. just think this poor(stupid) individual will have to use a cane, a prostesis or simply limp the rest of his life…
    TyTweeder on August 2nd, 2007 at 3:05 pm
    i highly doubt that actually

    my uncle was in a helicopter accident around 27 years ago and he lost half his foot (his isent nearly as clean)
    he walks just fine with and without shoes
    no cane, prostesis, or limp
    he wears normal shoes (stuffs the toe with a sock), except sandles, he knows someone who makes those for him

    you’d never know there was anything different about him unless you saw his foot
    the way he went about this was stupid
    i really hope he payed for it out of his own pocket…

  63. As a minor sidenote, plastic surgery used to be a much more socially unacceptable practice (I’m referring specifically here to the comments about breast implants). Granted plastic surgery was (and is) most often used to achieve a look more in line with current cultural standards of beauty, rather than move away from them, but the common reaction, even 15 years ago, toward people who underwent plastic surgery was a collective accusation of vanity. Individuals were indicted and condemned as victims of an internalized beauty culture, and the idea that they had free agency in the matter was preposterous. If the patients didn’t love their bodies exactly as they were born, then they must have psychological issues.
    Now, cosmetic surgery (for the term “plastic” is now seen as derogatory) is a practice that is viewed as empowering in Western society. One is “taking charge” or “being proactive” when artificially enhancing one’s beauty. Nowadays, I know women who’ve gotten breast implants or nose jobs as high school graduation gifts. It’s an equalizing process, giving oneself a better chance at a happy and successful life. At least, that’s what the advertisements and TV shows say.

    What’s my point? Cosmetic surgery was initially resisted as unnatural for whatever reasons, personal, social, religious, etc., but society, at least, eventually came around. My theory is that it is because plastic surgery became another way to perpetuate (and take to the next level) the beauty economy. What is most unattainable is most beautiful, and the more people scramble to achieve the impossible, the more goods can be sold in the process. Even tattoos and piercings have started to fall into this trend of cooptation as the imagery of rebellion has been incorporated into beauty standards (belly button piercings, lower back tribal designs on women, upper arm tribal designs on men, you get the idea). But hey, that’s just my opinion.

    If any of this stuff interests you, I recommend you look up Victoria Pitts. She’s a sociology professor and wrote a book titled “Surgery Junkies: The Cultural Boundaries of Cosmetic Surgery.”

    Sorry for the long post. I’m an insomniac and it’s 4AM here; I tend to ramble under such circumstances.

    And also, inducing an infection to force an amputation is a very dangerous, nearly impossible to control, and, one more time, HIGHLY DANGEROUS method. It’s unpredictable and potentially fatal. There are far safer and, needless to say, more sanitary ways of doing this.

  64. Haven’t read all posts (I just read them all on the other amputaion thing – phew I’m tired!), so I hope my point hasn’t been said ten times over already. Anyway, I’d just like to say “thank you” to BME for showing this. It may not be pretty, but it’s informative. It shows the risks involved in getting an infection, so anyone considering it can see as well as know what can potentially go wrong.

    Whether people like it or not, these amputations are a modification of the body, and so should be documented. That’s what BME’s for, right? I don’t understand why some people only want to see “beautiful aesthetic contributions”. Anyway, who decides what’s beautiful?

  65. #81 (micah)

    “I don’t get worked up about what people do to their own bodies, it’s their own business and good luck to them… unless it negatively impacts OTHER people along the way.

    Creating an infection so you can use up medical resources and doctor’s time to achieve a “look” you want is criminal in my opinion, and that’s exactly what happened here.”

    i couldn’t agree with you more. that is the first and only thing i thought of when i saw this and i am completely disgusted.

  66. Pingback: ModBlog - Amputation Interview Posted - Body modification and ritual blog sponsored by

  67. I read the interview – and although his amputations are not my flavor, it is his body to mod as he sees fit. My curiosity is piqued by the fact that his wife doesn’t know what he is doing! Does she truly have no idea of his fetish?

  68. I don’t understand why something is stupid as soon as something is beyond most peoples comprehension. To everyone who posted about the stupidity of self amputation, how many times have people said to you the tattoos and piercings are unatural and dangerous and stupid? How do you explain to someone with that mind set that this is who you are, how this effects you, the procedure, and so on? You show the and talk to them, just as this gentlemans been brave enough to do.

    I don’t agree that this is a cry for help because this man reaps no attention as we never see his face or name and that no one who is close with him has any idea. And I don’t agree that he is irrisponsible for inducing the infection; he must be well aware of the risks, and since all of life carries risk, to be unaware of the risks is more irrisponsible then to understand and take them.

    However, I do worry about the other people that were waiting for operations…

  69. It’s really sad the extent some people will got to just to get medical care. What a shame! It shouldn’t be like that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>