Ear and Lip Scalpelling

Ear or Lip Scalpelling is essentially a piercing using a scalpel rather than a needle. It can usually be done without removing any tissue at all (unless this is desired due to, for example, old scarring being present that you want to remove, or if one lobe is bigger than the other etc.) Scalpelled piercings allow large gauge jewellery to be worn straight away by means of creating a larger hole than a standard piercing needle could allow. It is also possible to enlarge previously stretched piercings through scalpelling and is especially useful if you’ve stretched to a point where you are concerned the bottom of your lobes may thin too much, so we can scalpel up into thick lobe tissue to allow you to achieve a large gauge without risking thinning your lobes out any more. Lip scalpelling is a little different, a small piece of skin is usually removed to allow the jewellery to sit flat in the lip without any bunching of the tissue – a lip should never be pierced at large gauge, because it can blow out – scalpelling is a quicker and safer alternative yielding better results. We also offer ear cartilage scalpelling (requires sutures) such as inner or outer conch removal, ear pointing by helix removal, dermal punches with sutures, shaped removal works etc.


Fresh 8mm Lip Scalpelling


This awesome chap had his lip scalpelled in Portugal and wasn’t happy with the placement so we reworked it for him with this lovely 8mm piece


5mm philtrum scalpelling


8mm labret and philtrum scalpelling


12mm healed lip scalpelling


Blow-out removal


Re-shaped lobe to remove ‘thick’ section


Fresh 12mm lobe scalpelling


2 week healed lobe scalpelling


Inner conch removal with sutures


Outer conch teardrop removal, done with sutures, healed and newly fitted with rose gold anodised titanium rings.

Ear lobe or lip scalpelling is therefore usually carried out when:

A large gauge hole is wanted instantly.

Further stretching to the area could possible cause the tissue to thin too much and possibly break, thus scalpelling is the only option available to further increase the size of the stretch.

There are 2 stretched piercings in close proximity and neither can be stretched further, thus both can be cut into one large piercing.

Scar tissue prevents further stretching.

This procedure is very quick and is no more painful than a ‘normal’ piercing. We recommend you speak with your doctor before undergoing a scalpelling procedure, and if (s)he suggests a prophylactic course of antibiotics may be beneficial, we suggest you take these.


Things to expect:

Soon after the procedure, it may bleed if knocked. This is common and perfectly normal! Just apply some sterile gauze and pressure for a couple of minutes until the blood clots.

For the first few weeks, expect the area to be red, swollen, tender, puffy, and sometimes bruised.

Expect the fistula to secrete clear/white/pale yellow fluid throughout the healing process. Many people mistake this fluid as a sign of infection – please don’t worry. A green smelly fluid indicates infection.

If you had sutures, expect some itchiness after the first 5-7 days and allow time around day 14 to return to the studio to have your sutures removed.

Things to avoid:

Soap, shampoo, and chemical residues from showering/bathing. Be sure to rinse the area with clean water following a shower or a bath!

Antiseptic preparations such as Savlon cream or spray, TCP, Hydrogen Peroxide, Dettol, Surgical Spirit etc –DO NOT USE THESE to clean your piercing! These are very harsh and will cause irritation and delay healing.

Playing or fiddling with the area using dirty fingers. This will likely increase healing time, cause it to swell, and/or cause an infection.

Moving or twisting the jewellery whilst dry. If any secreted discharge has hardened on the jewellery, turning it may tear the fistula or surrounding tissue and prolong the healing process.

Knocking the piercing or causing any trauma.

Swimming pools for the first few weeks.

Do your best to avoid sleeping on your piercing.

Between sea salt water soaks, we recommend you use a product called H2Ocean piercing aftercare spray around 3 times daily. It is a 0.9% saltwater solution (perfect salinity to match the body) which gently removes crusts without the need to touch your piercing. It is naturally antibacterial without nasty chemicals and encourages healing as it contains an enzyme called Lysozyme, which is naturally found within our mucosal membranes. Cross contamination is impossible as the spray is a sterile pressurized container (each spray is therefore sterile until the very end of the can!)
This spray simply helps heal your mod faster.

For scalpelled lips – Alcohol and drugs should be avoided until the initial swelling has gone. Alcohol is an irritant and may worsen or prolong swelling and healing. Avoid hot, spicy, salty or citrus foods and caffeine for the first few days. All of these are irritants and will slow down the healing process (and might sting a bit!) If you are a smoker, try to cut down as much as possible during the healing process and rinse your mouth out with 1 part alcohol-free mouthwash to 10 parts water after each cigarette. During the healing, gargle with the (cooled) salt water solution described above or 1 part alcohol-free mouthwash to 10 parts water after each meal.

Prior to cleaning, hands should be washed,

O-rings removed from the jewellery and any dried matter soaked off

Clean your piercing twice daily using a cotton bud dipped in the salt water solution described above. Alternatively, a very gentle antibacterial handwash such as Carex or Simple can be used on the area twice daily. Please follow the manufacturers instructions and only use instead of a salt solution. If irritation occurs, discontinue use.

Expect some swelling or soreness from your piercing. Ears and lips are subjected to temperature changes and environmental stress – A knock may cause swelling or soreness to flare up again throughout the healing phase.