It started in 2013. Whether the idea is inspired by The Lord of the Rings or Star Trek, people subjecting themselves to elf ear surgery is a bizarre topic that was catchy enough for some news networks to feature it.
Elf ear surgery is indeed a peculiar way to manifest one’s fanaticism to certain fictional characters as the operation could be painful.
But if you’re a person who wanted attention, then elf ears would surely be a head-turner. After all, you normally don’t see people with obviously pointed ears casually walking down the street.
How do you obtain elf ears? You could use prosthetics if you’re content with temporarily looking like Legolas. However, if you are brave enough to sport elfin ears for the rest of your life, then you have to visit a body modifier or plastic surgeon. Of course, these experts would charge you for their services. With that said, just how much does elf ear surgery cost?
Elf Ear Surgery Price
The average cost of elf ear modification, or “ear pointing surgery” as some online articles call it, averages US$600 to US$1,000 according to Cost Helper. The exact price varies depending on the body modifier who will do the surgery and your location. However, most body modifiers don’t pose their rates online.
If you want to know how exactly body modifiers charge for elfin ears, you could reach the modifier using their contact information posted on their website. Better yet, you can visit their workshops.
As for plastic surgeons, the elf ear surgery price would be more expensive. However, it won’t be clear whether a plastic surgeon performs elf ear surgery or not unless you confirm it.
Nevertheless, to give you an idea on the costs, PlasticSurgery.org says that the average price of otoplasty or ear surgery is US$2,965. The said average is based on the 2015 statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
The exact cost of a surgeon would depend on his/her experience on the field and his/her location. For instance, surgeons who have been practicing for decades most likely have built a reputation enough to command high fees in exchange of a safe and reliable cosmetic surgery. It is also typical for surgeons located in cities to charge higher.
The cost, however, does not yet include other expenses such as fees for the use of hospital or surgical facilities, anesthesia, post-surgery garments, and medical tests. The prices for the said additional fees would depend on the hospital.
Sample Cost of Elf Ear Modification
When some news networks reported about elf ear surgery, they also interviewed a body modifier named Steve Haworth. The modifier, who is based in Phoenix, said that he noticed more people coming to him for the surgery, charging those who opt for the modification about US$600.
That’s a low price compared to the fee plastic surgeons charge for otoplasty or ear surgery. However, the operation is painful as Haworth does not use anesthesia. Or rather, he’s not licensed to use one.
Besides being painful, elf ear surgery is irreversible, unlike tattoos and piercings. Because of the pain and the long-term consequence of going under the knife, Haworth only performs the modification to clients 18 years old and above.
As for a sample of how much plastic surgeons charge for ear surgery, the Aventura Plastic Surgery clinic sets the price of ear reshaping at US$5,000 and higher. Florida-based plastic surgeon Dr. Richard Galitz performs the otoplasty for the said clinic.
According to the clinic’s website, the surgical times average one hour. Furthermore, the doctor may use local anesthesia or IV sedation for the operation.
The website also gives a bit of information on how the doctor would perform the surgery. Depending on the client’s problem, he may sculpt the cartilage of the patient’s ear using sutures. He could also opt to remove a piece of cartilage to improve the patient’s ear fold.
Note that we only discussed the plastic surgeon’s price to give you an idea on how much they charge for ear surgery. If a surgeon agrees to perform elf ear surgery, the price may go as high as the above price. Just remember to ask the clinic if they do have services related to making your ears pointed.
To look for plastic surgeons based in the United States and other countries, you can use the surgeon finder available at plasticsurgery.org.
Risks of Elf Ear Surgery
Now that you have an idea of how much does elf ear surgery cost, it is important that you also understand what’s in it for you if you push through the modification. Sporting elf ears could be cool especially if you’re in the company of fellow fans.
However, you should also know that there are risks involved in opting for the said surgery. At least that’s what doctors and experts say.
According to some experts, the procedure could lead to scarring, infection, and ear deformities. These risks are further emphasized as most of those who perform the modification allegedly have no license to perform surgeries.
Furthermore, there have been reports of botched plastic surgeries allegedly performed by surgeons who claim they have a license. Whether or not a surgeon has the authority to cut cartilages, there is always a risk of you ending up with a deformed pair of ears rather than pointy ones. Hence, before you give in to the temptation of elfin ears, make sure that you have a reliable surgeon or body modifier.
Also, remember that the pair of elf ears would stay with you throughout your lifetime. With the way humans change their perception of what is cool as they age, there is a risk that you won’t fancy your modified ears anymore when you reach 40. If not completely irreversible, changing your elf ears back to normal would not be easy work for plastic surgeons. Furthermore, that would mean another expense for you.
Consider these risks before opting for elf ear surgery so you won’t have to regret your decision later. If you’re ready for the consequences and would push through no matter what, just see to it that the one who will modify your ears is capable. After all, imitating fictional ears through surgery is a choice of a lifetime!