September 15, 2006 2:17 AM   Subscribe

(piercing filter) I have an ampallang piercing.

I have had it about ten years now and have never taken it out. I'd like to take it out and put it back in but I've never tried that before and I'm a little scared I won't be able to get it back in or it will be really, really, painful to put back in. Does anyone know anything about this or have any experience with this?
posted by josher71 to Health & Fitness (11 answers total)
Have you considered going to the nearest decent piercing parlour and asking them for help? I've kept the original jewelry in almost all of my piercings; when I've needed to take some of the jewelry out or put it back in, I've gone back to the parlour where I got pierced and asked them to do it. If there're any special difficulties due to the type of piercing or the type of jewelry, they can teach you what to do.
posted by ubersturm at 5:01 AM on September 15, 2006

Oh my. I had to google for "ampallang piercing" to find out what it was (it's a piercing through the head of the penis, for those who are also not up on their extreme body mod lingo). I know that when my wife takes out her nose piercing, putting it back in can be very tricky and painful, so I can imagine you trying to re-insert this kind of a piercing by yourself. Definitely go to a professional experienced with this kind of thing. I'd even call to ask them whether or not it is possible to remove and reinsert this kind of a piercing.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:40 AM on September 15, 2006

I applaud your good intentions and helpful nature, Rock, but if you had to Google 'ampallang' to even find out what it is, I can't help but quibble about the quality of your advice (also, ampallang piercings can also go through the shaft, plenty of people have done the piercing themselves, and it's not really an extreme body mod these days, though I suppose that's in the eye of the beholder.)

If the jewelry's ten years old--is it an externally-threaded barbell? If so, now might be a good time to switch to the internally-threaded kind.

Finally getting around to answering your question--you ought to be able to get it out just fine. How long are you planning to leave it out, though? The longer you leave it out, the more difficult re-insertion will be. It's not like the hole will heal up entirely in an hour--it will, however, slowly get smaller if there's no jewelry in it (on the other hand, if you've had it for ten years, the jewelry is probably a little bit loose in the piercing). In any case, some kind of lubricant will make the insertion much smoother. Depending on your pain tolerances, and your level of experience with this kind of thing, and your proximity to talented piercers, it might be better to let somebody else do it.

As always, bmezine.com is the best source of body-modification information on the internet.
posted by box at 6:18 AM on September 15, 2006

I can't speak to any piercings down there, but in my experience with my own, the first time you try to change the jewelry yourself you should be prepared for some minor pain and tears of frustration. Of course, sticking out your tongue while looking in a mirror trying to get that damn little bead to screw on to the barbell might be more problematic than your case.
posted by utsutsu at 7:09 AM on September 15, 2006

I don't have any experience with that particular piercing, but whenever I change the jewelry in any of my piercings, I use a lot of Bactine before removal and before insertion of the new piece. It makes everything nice and slippery so no pain and also keeps the area clean at the same time. Or you could just go to a professional, like everyone else said.
posted by rmless at 7:28 AM on September 15, 2006

If you've had it ten years, scar tissue will have set up around the piercing. Taking it out for a short time won't cause it to grow over. I second the Bactine/Soft Silk suggestion to help lubricate and disinfect the piercing, when putting the jewelry back in.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:20 AM on September 15, 2006

That's funny - I was going to ask today if anybody had ever had their Apadravya (just like the ampallang except vertical rather than horizontal) done and if the pain was really as bad as it's rumored. I've already got my PA and Frenum done already, so I figured I'd finish out the set.

Anyways, I've taken out my piercings from time to time down there to clean them up and to change jewelry some times. Lubrication is a must, but I've had them out for as long as a half hour without any complications. Good luck!
posted by Bageena at 8:35 AM on September 15, 2006

I routinely leave my PA out for up to a week (by routinely, I guess I mean several times a year), and the only consequence is that I put in a ten gauge-ring for a week until it stretches out enough to put my eight-gauge ring back in. I use a little lubrication to help it along, and it can be tight, but there's not really any pain.

Obviously an ampallang goes through different/more tissue than a PA, so YMMV. But having an extra/smaller piece of jewelry is handy for those times when you want to clean it out thoroughly, or if you want to take it out for a time (as I sometimes do).
posted by rocketman at 9:21 AM on September 15, 2006

By the way, I've never gone back to my professional except for the original piercing work. I bought extra jewelry from him, but was able to swap it in/out myself every time.
posted by rocketman at 9:22 AM on September 15, 2006

I've taken my PA in and out a number of times for MRIs or other related procedures. It's never been a problem. I have a CCB in mine, and was really worried the first time I had to take it out. It's not hard. I promise. I've only had mine for about 6 years, took it out the first time at about year 4 and had it out for over 4 hours, no problem at all. Lubrication is useful, but I've only ever used water. good luck
posted by killyb at 9:23 AM on September 15, 2006

With a ten year old piercing you shouldn't have any problem leaving it out for a bit and reinserting it. Lube up the end of jewelry with bacitracin or something similiar and it should slide right in. You might also want to purchase a taper from your piercer or online which is the same size as your piercing/jewelry. That will help you to feed the jewelry in smoothly through the piercing without catching or scraping yourself with any rough edges on the way in.
posted by RoseovSharon at 11:40 AM on September 15, 2006

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