Man has entire inner ear removed in controversial body modification procedure

Elise Solé
A Swedish body modification artist performed a “conch removal” procedure. (Photo: Getty Images)

A famous body modification artist cut out a client’s inner ear in “conch removal” surgery, for aesthetics.

Sonchai Maiber of Calm Body Modification in Stockholm, Sweden said on Facebook Friday that he was “truly humbled” to work on client Charles V. Bentley who traveled from Australia to have the procedure.

To get some facts straight note that this procedure doesn’t make you deaf,” wrote Maiber under two photos of Bentley’s modified ears. “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.” 

Maiber was not immediately available for comment when asked by Yahoo Lifestyle. His photo with 6.4 reactions, 34K comments, and 15K shares resulted in memes and puns. “Unfortunately, that is ear-reversable,” joked someone. 

But professionals challenged Maiber’s physiological claims. 

  • “Just as a concerned audiologist……..literally every comment of yours regarding his hearing is WRONG. All of it. Completely incorrect.”
  • I have been a nurse almost 30 years so I have a lot to say about this but I am gonna leave it at those are the most amazingly perfect sutures that I have EVER seen. You should take up quilting or black market liver sales.”
  • “Audiologist here. You may hear better from behind 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…”

Toronto audiologist Maryam Ghaderi told CTVNews.ca, “If you have that part missing, I would guess a bit of your hearing would be affected—probably your sense of localizing sound. To say how much in terms of a percentage of hearing loss is hard to say.”

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