Body modification enthusiast has part of ear removed in controversial procedure

This man’s ears must be burning after photos of his controversial conch removal surgery went viral.

Charles Bentley, a body modification enthusiast, reportedly traveled from Australia to Stockholm, Sweden, to have his inner ear surgically removed.

The removal, performed by piercer and modification practitioner Sonchai Maiber at Calm Body Modification studios, involves cutting out the client’s inner ear – or conch – and then stitching it up to reveal a large hole in the middle of the ear.

Maiber, who performs other extreme modifications like this for his clients, posted pictures of the removal immediately after surgery.

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“To get some facts straight note that this procedure doesn’t make you deaf,” Maiber wrote on Facebook, next to photos of the freshly stitched up 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.”

However, after posting the photos across his different social media accounts, Maiber was almost immediately challenged on his hearing “facts.”

“Just as a concerned audiologist……..literally every comment of yours regarding his hearing is WRONG. All of it. Completely incorrect,” one wrote on the Facebook photo.

“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…” another person wrote.

“I'm not an 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!!” another commented.

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Toronto audiologist Maryam Ghaderi said to CTVNews.ca of the viral pictures, “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.”

The photos gathered over 37K comments and 16K shares on Facebook alone as of Wednesday afternoon – with the majority slamming the procedure as needless and dangerous, as well as making jokes at Bentley’s expense.

“Ah, I see you’ve ordered the attention seeking package, how may I guide your unemployment experience today?” one wrote.

“For real, as a deaf person, can I just say f--- you?” another commented.

“You want to catch your ear on a branch? This is how you catch your ear on a branch,” another quipped.

“Unfortunately, that is ear-reversable,” one person joked.

“He hasnt deleted any of the negative comments because he cant hear us. Maybe we should tell them from behind,” another wrote.

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It is not clear how many conch removals Maiber has performed.