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01.03.2012 | Miscellaneous | Ausgabe 3/2012

European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology 3/2012

High ear-piercing: an increasingly popular procedure with serious complications. Is good clinical practice exercised?

European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology > Ausgabe 3/2012
Marie Lyons, Joanna Stephens, Joseph Wasson, Nilantha DeZoysa, Petros V. Vlastarakos
Wichtige Hinweise
This article is dedicated for Daisy.


This study aimed to explore the current practice of performing high ear-piercing regarding consent protocols, and methods of practice using questionnaire-based survey in Hertfordshire and North London. Recommendations for good clinical practice are also made. 100 establishments performing ear piercing were identified. A 16-item questionnaire on techniques used, methods of high-ear piercing, methods of sterilization, consent issues and aftercare was completed. Seventy-six establishments agreed to participate. All practitioners prepared the skin before piercing. 58 (76%) used a needle for piercing, 11 (15%) used a spring-loaded gun and seven (9%) used both. 97% of the practitioners obtained written consent before proceeding. 9 (12%) had a lower age limit of 16 years and three (4%) of 18 years. 27 piercers (36%) provided an aftercare leaflet, 41 (54%) warned the patients about risks of infection, 16 (21%) warned about cosmetic deformity and 1 (1%) specifically mentioned cauliflower ear. Results indicated that high ear piercing is an invasive procedure with a significant risk of complications leading to cosmetic deformity. Establishments should be required to counsel patients properly about the risks and potential complications of the procedure. A code of practice should be drawn up with a minimum age for piercing, requirement for proper consent, excellent hygiene and good information for postoperative care.

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