Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Uvula Piercing

While doing some research on intubation injuries, I came across this lifestyle procedure, uvula piercing. It is not very common but unless you ask you never know. Hopefully you would catch this when you ask the patient to open his mouth to evaluate for Mallampati classification. We've been surprised in the OR when the patient, upon being undressed to get ready for their skin prep, to find body piercings anywhere from the nipples to the genitals. Facial piercings are also very common. Besides the ears, I've seen piercings in the eyebrows, nose, lips, tongue, chin, cheeks, and forehead. Just about the only thing on the face that can't be pierced is the eyeballs.

Check out this blog on how a uvula piercing is performed. Notice the recipient's earlobes. One of our OR techs has something like that. It is usually filled with a large colored disk, not hanging as a giant loop. Also note the anxiety on his friend Marty's face in the background as he is getting pierced. All this raises the question of WHY? Probably the only explanation is because it can be done. Ah, the insanity of youth.

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