Body Modification Controversy - Man has Inner Ear Removed

Posted April 28, 2019
A man traveled to Sweden to have his inner ear removed.

There is an old phrase that says “your ears must be burning” if someone has been talking about a person behind their back. If this old saying is true, the ears of Charles Bentley must be burning constantly after the news spread about his conch removal surgery that involved him having his inner ear removed.

Body Modification Specialist Defends Inner Ear Removal

Charles Bentley is a body modification enthusiast that traveled from Australia to Stockholm, Sweden, to have his inner ear removed by piercer and modification practitioner Sonchai Maiber at Calm Body Modification Studios. The removal process is performed so the inner ear, or the conch, of the patient is cut out. The incision for the “conch removal surgery” is closed with the final result revealing a large hole in the middle of the era.

Maiber is well-known for performing extreme body modifications on clients from around the globe. When asked about the type of results that patients can expect from having inner ear removal performed, he wrote the following on Facebook when posting photos of the ears after they had been stitched back together:

“To get some facts straight note that this procedure doesn’t make you deaf. It might impair your ability to hear the direction of sound for the first week or two until your mind has adjusted to your new ears. Hearing from behind will in fact improve. Our ears don’t ‘catch’ sound as it did eons of years ago when our ears were bigger hence why we have to create a bigger ‘ear’ by cupping our hand around our ear to hear better.”

Medical Professionals Debate the Inner Ear Removal “Facts”

Surgery on the ears is known as otoplasty. It is performed to correct any defects or deformities to the ears present at birth or to repair any trauma or injury suffered by the ears. None of those descriptions fall under removing the inner ear. 

Once Maiber posted the photos of the inner ear removal on his social media accounts, he was immediately challenged by a large number of people about his “hearing facts”. Some of the comments that were posted on his social media pages included:

  • “Just as a concerned audiologist…literally every comment of yours regarding his hearing is WRONG. All of it. Completely incorrect.”
  • “Audiologist here. You may hear better from behind you but you will have far more difficulty knowing whether a sound is in fact behind or in front of you. Plus a bunch of other stuff you said is wrong but that’s a big one…”
  • “I’m not at audiologist but I perform hearing screens on babies and we can’t even do our screens if part of the outer ear (concha, pinna, literally any of it) is even slightly deformed. Like…those parts are important!!”

An Audiologist speaks out about Inner Ear Removal

In an interview with CTV News in Canada, Toronto audiologist Maryam Ghaderi commented on the inner ear removal photos that went viral. “If you have that part missing, I would guess a bit of your hearing would be affected – perhaps your sense of localizing sound. To say how much in terms of a percentage of hearing loss is hard to say.”

While professionals such as Ghaderi commented on the surgical procedure, there were plenty of comments from those that were simply viewing the results online. In general, the majority of the people that viewed the inner ear removal results felt that the conch removal surgery was dangerous and unnecessary. They also took the time to make plenty of jokes that were aimed at Bentley. In fact, the photos had over 37,000 comments; over 6000 reactions and 16,000 shares on Facebook alone after they were posted by Maiber. Some of the comments included:

  • “Ah, I see you’ve ordered the attention seeking package, how may I guide your unemployment experience today?”
  • “Unfortunately, that is ear-reversible.”
  • ”He hasn’t deleted any of the negative comments because he can’t hear us. Maybe we should tell them from behind.”
  • “You want to catch your ear on a branch? That is how you catch your ear on a branch.”

Consult with a Board-Certified Cosmetic Surgeon before Having Cosmetic Surgery

As of the publication of this article, it is not clear exactly how many conch removals have been performed by Maiber. It does seem clear that Maiber is confident that his decision to perform inner ear removal is a valid one as he posted the photos and was very proud of the final results. Before a patient decides to undergo any type of plastic surgery, the person should schedule a consultation appointment with a board-certified cosmetic surgeon. The doctor will perform a thorough examination of the patient in order to make sure the person is an ideal candidate for the cosmetic procedure they are interested in undergoing. In addition, the cosmetic surgeon will set realistic expectations for the results so the patient will know what to expect when the final results are visible. Plus, it is important for the patient to know of any risks or side effects that can result from undergoing any type of cosmetic surgery procedure.



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