Recently, I followed a link from @plsurgeon on twitter to this article: Holes for popular plug ear jewelry usually stretched open, not cut.
I have yet to be asked to repair any holes in ear lobes from plugs, but have repaired many torn ear lobes from pierced ear jewelry. While I admit, I’m not a fan of ear lobe plugs, I appreciate the ability of our body’s tissue which allows for the expansion. (photo credit)
Physicians use soft tissue expansion for reconstruction to “expand” or increase the available tissue to replace missing tissue.
The expansion or stretching technique used for ear plugs is not done to replace missing tissue, but to allow a larger plug to be used as jewelry rather than the fine wire of traditional ear piercing.
….Hoover is a do-it-yourself sort of guy. First, he pierced his ears himself with a sewing needle. He then inserted tapered rods to stretch the holes until they were large enough to hold plug jewelry. "It's a painful gain," he said.
Fitterer sells tapered rods in his piercing parlor or performs the stretching himself. He said rare parlors cut large holes. ……