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EdMorden
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Quote EdMorden Replybullet Topic: DIY scalpel tongue split
    Posted: December/26/2012 at 1:35pm
I decided to experiment with do it yourself tongue splitting with a scalpel. I don't have a tongue piercing to do the monofilament method with, and I don't particularly want to do that method anyway because of the pain that everyone says it involves. I am also not 100% sure that I want to split my tongue, so starting it gradually and having a small split that will probably mostly heal up in case I change my mind appeals to me. Also the size of the fresh cut would always be minimal and reduce the bleeding and risk of infection, etc.

I started 9 days ago using a single edge razor blade that was sterilized with 90% ethanol. I tentatively began to make very small cuts into the tip of my tongue and used sterile gauze pads to soak up the blood, which was minimal. I used quite a few pads because they quickly got soaked with saliva. There wasn't much pain, more like a sting when I cut. I spent most of the time trying to find the right position for my tongue, the mirror, and the light. After over an hour I had made about a 1/8" split.

I left it alone for 4 days and in that time it had begun to heal up, which didn't surprise me. I could see a little bit of white scar tissue that was forming in the split. In my next session I had to first cut through that. I was able to make the split 1/4" deep in less time than the first because I was getting better at the process. Every time I made a cut I would put pressure with the gauze until the bleeding stopped, which was usually only a minute or so.

The next day it was beginning to heal up in the back, so I opened it up a little more. Over the last 4 days I have been using the razor 2 or 3 times a day to keep the regrowth from happening. It seems to have shortened somewhat, but there is still a distinct cut that hasn't started to get rounded as the swelling has gone down. I think I'm going to hold off for a week or so and see what happens before I go further. I'm going try to keep it split apart until the cut surfaces look healed.

I'm sure some of you will wonder why I want to prolong this and not just get it over with. As I said at the beginning, I'm not completely sure I want to have a split tongue for the rest of my life. I just really enjoy the process. The sting and bleeding seem to happen mostly when cutting through the top surface. Cutting through the tissue in the middle doesn't feel like anything at all, and there's just something that fascinates and stimulates me about seeing a part of my body cut open. I can't explain it, but it's a lot of fun. I have done 2 DIY piercings (PA and Dolphin) and I had fun with those, but this is better.

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BigMikeHOOKED
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Quote BigMikeHOOKED Replybullet Posted: December/26/2012 at 5:01pm
Have you done any research into tongue anatomy and what all is in there and know what the potential problems are if you make a mistake?
"stay true to your obsessions" V. Vale
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EdMorden
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Quote EdMorden Replybullet Posted: December/27/2012 at 12:58pm
Yes. The tongue is two sets of muscles joined with connective tissue in the middle. The blood vessels and nerves come in from the sides on the bottom. As long as one stays right in the middle and doesn't go too far back there isn't anything but the connective tissue to go through. If I'm wrong about any of that I would welcome any new information.

There are always potential problems with any procedure, even if done by a doctor. I once had a routine cataract surgery get botched by a doctor with decades of experience that resulted in another surgery, followed by years of on and off problems and pain, finally resulting in irreparable optic nerve damage. Everyone has a litany of things that could possibly go wrong but there don't seem to be many reports of things that actually go wrong if reasonable precautions are taken. I asked if anyone knew of any real reported serious issues in this thread http://www.bodymod.org/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=21642 but there haven't been any replies.

Edited by EdMorden - December/27/2012 at 1:01pm
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BigMikeHOOKED
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Quote BigMikeHOOKED Replybullet Posted: December/27/2012 at 3:33pm
You said it yourself, you had a procedure that was messed up by someone with decades of experience. Experience you DON'T have. So the chance of YOU making a serious mistake is way more likely.

And how about the potential for an infection, based on the fact that you are using a NON-sterile instrument. And before you even say it, soaking your razorblade in alcohol DOES NOT STERILIZE IT. Not even a little bit. Only an autoclave can do that. The proper tool for this job is a STERILE scalpel blade, not a razorblade soaked in alcohol.

"stay true to your obsessions" V. Vale
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BigMikeHOOKED
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Quote BigMikeHOOKED Replybullet Posted: December/27/2012 at 3:42pm
And for shits and giggles I will share a story about what can go wrong.

An experienced piercer, a friend of mine, decided to split his own tongue. This person had well over 10 years of experience with surgical mods. He cut right down the middle. And because not every person is put together exactly the same and our bodies dont consult an anatomy book before developing, he cut right through a major blood vessel. He was reluctant to go to the hospital and spent the next two days spitting out over 40oz of blood. I know this because he had two FULL 20oz bottles of blood. He ended up having to have surgery on his tongue to first FIND the blood vessel (which had receded) and then cauterize it.

As far as reported? It was not. As far as confirmed? You can take my word or not.  But I dont know how one would find out about anything a doctor had to fix, due to privacy policies in the medical profession.
"stay true to your obsessions" V. Vale
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EdMorden
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Quote EdMorden Replybullet Posted: December/27/2012 at 5:13pm
Thank you, BigMike. That's the sort of information I was looking for.

Regarding sterilization, I am aware that alcohol won't kill everything, but it does kill most things. If I was planning to do the whole split at once I would be more serious about it. As it is, the cuts I am making aren't any bigger wounds that I have routinely gotten working with sharp tools, kitchen knives, or shaving.

Do you know for sure if your friend had a blood vessel going through the center of his tongue or did he just veer off course? Looking at the underside of my tongue I can see a lot of blue veins just under the surface that are awfully damn close to the center. It wouldn't take much of an error to nick one of them. If he did have an anatomical difference it seems like a professional piercer or a doctor would have been surprised as well. At least the doctor presumably would have been equipped to fix the problem on the spot. I say "presumably" because the doctor who messed up my eye ran into a problem, but then made a series of subsequent blunders that made it worse despite her 30+ years of experience. I'm more comfortable doing things myself after getting as informed as possible rather than putting my trust in someone else.

What I'm curious about is how often professional piercers run into complications like that when they are performing this procedure. I'm guessing you haven't done these yourself or you probably would have mentioned it. How many tongue splits had your friend done before he did his?
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BigMikeHOOKED
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Quote BigMikeHOOKED Replybullet Posted: December/27/2012 at 5:24pm
Im not sure man, but quite a few. He split it right down the middle and still hit it, I do know that for sure. His split is still one of the best Ive seen
"stay true to your obsessions" V. Vale
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EdMorden
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Quote EdMorden Replybullet Posted: December/28/2012 at 5:24pm
7 days since the last significant cutting and it's staying apart nicely. What little swelling there was has completely gone away. I'm going to let it go for another week before I consider doing any more.

I just ordered some disposable sterile scalpels from Amazon. 10 for under $10 including shipping. That's too easy!

Edited by EdMorden - December/28/2012 at 5:24pm
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PainfullyPoetic
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Quote PainfullyPoetic Replybullet Posted: December/28/2012 at 8:10pm
Seems to me, the more you fuck with it, the longer you take to do the procedure, the more scar tissue you create.
I am pierced, therefore I am.
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EdMorden
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Quote EdMorden Replybullet Posted: December/28/2012 at 11:11pm
I'm not so sure about that. There was a bit of scar tissue from the first cut that was mostly on one side but I sort of scraped it off the other day and it's gone. For me the whole purpose is to fuck with it, so that's working for me.
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