Body Art: Reconstructive Surgery on Tattoos, Piercings and Ear Gauging on the Rise

Dallas plastic surgeon says body art repair becoming commonplace
Barry CarpenterAugust 9, 2011

18 year old Ethan Yoder is a bit of a free spirited rebel–about two years he decided to ‘gauge’ his ears–the ancient body art method of placing hoops in earlobes to make them large.

Ethan started small and got large–to the tune of 2 inches in diameter–then he decided enough was enough and wanted normal ears.

“Tired of getting stared at you know getting weird looks everywhere I go–not getting a job at all,” Ethan said. “It was a stupid kid thing to do and I’m ready to grow up and move on.”

Moving on would require surgery so Ethan turned to Forest Park Medical Center plastic surgeon David Azouz.

Dr. Azouz marked the ears–it’s the first step in Ethan’s desire to stop the whispers and funny looks.

“I’ll be more approachable,” Ethan said with a laugh. “I’ll be more respectable–and better looking too.”

That might come in handy this fall when Ethan heads off to Florida State College.

Dr. Azouz said he’s performed corrective surgery on many types of body art.

“It’s actually quite common,” Dr. Azouz said. “People place things or do piercings or do tattoos at a certain time and then don’t like the tattoo, regret the tattoo or regret the piercing.”

But make no mistake–Ethan’s surgery–because of the extent of the damage–won’t be easy–by any stretch of the imagination.

“It is delicate because the goal is to give the most normal looking ear possible,” Dr. Azouz said. “It’s very clear that his ear did not look very normal pre-operatively.”

It took Ethan more than two-years to create a two-inch hole it is earlobe but in about an hour-and- fifteen-minutes Dr. Azouz was able to make them brand new.

This time the eyes have it–not the ears.

“Does it look normal?” Dr. Azouz asked while he handed Ethan a mirror.

“Yes,” Ethan answered with a chuckle. “I didn’t ever think I would look like this again. I’m normal again. I’m an average Joe!”


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