What Hidden Damage Lies Behind the Viral ‘Conch Removal’ Picture Online?

This article is an editorial and is for the purposes of discussion and debate. Nothing in this article is intended to break news or cover an ongoing story that exists on KNNP’s Website. To see other stories, please go to the front page.

It’s a trend, or so people would believe. Rebellious teens everywhere look at this body modification in envy while their parents look at it in fright.

Doctors are looking at this however with a great deal of concern. The ‘Conch Removal’ surgery is a modification to the ear that removes all of the skin and cartilage from the outer to the inner ear just before the canal.

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The desired effect will be to have an ear that is see through and free form on the outer arch; something that I in fact think would look rather neat. However, this body modification comes with a price.

I sat down with a Doctor of Audiology at Avada Hearing Care Center in Zelienople to discuss what kind of effect this could have on somebody’s hearing.

I told Dr. Gina Shoemaker that I had a concern about the procedure and she said that she’s never heard of this phenomenon until I brought it up. According to Dr. Shoemaker, there are devastating consequences paired with the procedure that might not be clear at first.

Yes, [there is] a huge problem when you begin talking about removing the conch on your ear; especially a double removal. The conch is responsible for bouncing sound from out in front of you into your ear. The lower conch is responsible for amplifying the presence of low shelf bass frequencies into your ear. That means tasks such as walking through traffic or listening to speech will be altered and possibly more difficult due to the inability to bounce that bass frequency into your ear. That’s the biggest effect is the inability to move bass frequency.

Dr. Gina Shoemaker | Avada hearing Care Center – Zelienople, PA

What I have gathered without doubt is that there is a certain health and lifestyle risk associated with the procedure. What do you think? Is it worth it?

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