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Everything You Need to Know About Elf Ears Body Modifications

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When it comes to body modifications, elf ears are some of the more popular while simultaneously being some of the more extreme. To achieve this pointed ear look, a body modification artist actually uses a scalpel to cut out part of the cartilage in your ear and stitches it back up. Understandably, this is generally a very painful procedure with a very long and painful healing process. Because it can’t be reversed afterwards, you need to do your research and find a trustworthy artist with a vast portfolio of previous pointed ear modifications.

Is Ear Pointing Illegal?

Like all extreme body modifications, the law is pretty unclear on whether ear pointing is illegal or not. To be clear, it is legal for you to have pointed ears. It may be illegal for someone to perform the procedure on you (depending on a lot of factors).

Extreme body modifications can be considered “bodily harm”. Legally, you can’t consent to bodily harm if it is not recognized as socially useful or morally acceptable. Female genital mutilation is a good example of that.

Tattoos, Piercings, and surgeries can all legally be consented to, but technically body modifications may not be. Because this is such a legally gray area, you may have a hard time finding someone willing to perform the procedure on you.

Elf Ear Modification Surgery

To begin, whoever is going to perform your surgery will need to take a look at your ears to make sure you have suitable anatomy. If they are far away, it’s usually fine if you just send high quality images of your ears.

The surgery will be different per artist, but there are a few things you can expect from everyone:

  • You’ll need to go in on two different days: one for each ear.

Some artists will allow you to do the days back to back while others prefer you to have at least one day break in between.

  • The surgery will take around 2 hours per ear.
  • You’ll be awake for the surgery.
  • You will receive a local anesthetic.

Most artists will provide you with a local anesthetic. How well it works depends on a lot of factors. A very small amount of people report not feeling the surgery. In general, you’ll still experience a sharp cutting pain for the beginning part of the surgery, and then a dull pain for the remainder.

  • You will get stitches.

The stitches need to stay in for the duration of the healing process, which is usually a few months. If you have a trust worthy modification artist, they’ll probably want to see you to observe how you healed and remove your stitches for you. However, you can have stitches removed at any doctors office if you don’t want to make the trip again.

Your body artist will be able to give you more specific information about the procedure before you go in.

While your ears are healing, they will hurt to the touch. You’ll probably want to get a donut pillow made for healing piercings so you can sleep.

Elf Ear Modification Cost

The cost of elf ear modification depends on if you’re going to a body mod artist or a plastic surgeon. In general, body modification artists are cheaper and will charge around $1,000-$2,000 per ear. So around $2,000-$4,000 total. Plastic surgeons on the other hand will charge between $6,000-$7,500 for the full procedure. While it is generally recommended to go with a body modification artist who has a vast portfolio, plastic surgeons do have the upside that they can offer anesthesia, which body artists aren’t licensed to do. Plastic surgeons may also charge $250-$500 for a consultation while most body artists offer a consultation for free or cheap.

How to Find Someone to Perform Elf Ear Modification Near You

You have two options when searching for someone to perform an elf ear modification: a body modification artist or a plastic surgeon. Most people actually recommend going with a body modification artist because they will be specialized in doing the procedure. You’ll likely be the plastic surgeon’s first elf ear, so it could come out looking bad. On the other had, a body modification artist will have a vast portfolio for you to look over. However, if you are more comfortable visiting a doctor, that’s completely understandable.

If you want to find a body modification artist, you’ll have to search social media. Like tattoo artists, most body modification artists are active on Instagram. You’ll also be able to find recommendations for artists if you visit online communities for people who like body mods.

If you want to find a plastic surgeon, you’ll just need to call them up and ask. Body modifications aren’t something that a plastic surgeon is likely to advertise that they do, so you’ll just need to ask.

Elf Ear Surgery Cons

The most important con of elf ear surgery is that its not reversible. While you may be able to find someone to preform additional surgeries on you, you’re ear will never look like what it once did. Another con is that you won’t know what it looks like until it’s completely healed. The internet is full of both beautifully done elf ears and horrifically scarred pointed ears. Make sure to look at both, find an artist who is highly recommended, and take a deep look into their portfolio so you know what to expect. For several months after the surgery, you’ll have in stitches, so you won’t really be able to see what they look like until it’s over.

You won’t be able to wear over the ear headphones, possibly ever again. Once the stitches are removed, it’s safe to wear over the ear headphones, but most people report that they are uncomfortable with pointed ears.


Pointed ears are a huge, life long decision. We cannot stress enough how important it is that you decide to go with a very well recommended body artist. It’s important to prepare yourself for the long and painful healing process. The surgery itself can also be very painful. You’ll need to go in on two different days to get both ears done and the surgery will take around 2 hours for each ear. You won’t be able to sleep on your ears while the stitches are still in, so you’ll probably want to prepare ahead of time by getting a donut pillow made for healing piercings.