Flesh tunnel

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Flesh tunnels in different diameters with the corresponding expansion tools
Totonac statue with tunnels (approx. 600–1200 AD) in the Musée d'Auch

The term Fleshtunnel (meaning in German: " Fleischtunnel ") describes a piercing jewelry made mostly of stainless steel , titanium , silicone or horn for widened piercings .

Flesh tunnels keep the piercing stretched and thus form an open channel. Depending on the manufacturer, the sizes often vary in whole millimeter increments. Flesh tunnels are usually worn in the earlobe because it is particularly suitable for stretching. However, it can also be used at other locations. In addition to two-part flesh tunnels with screw threads, there are also so-called tubes , which are closed at the ends with O-rings .

The stretching

In order to be able to wear a flesh tunnel, the ear hole must first be stretched. This is only possible because the earlobe consists of skin, fat and connective tissue - i.e. only soft tissue. It is important that the stretching is done in small steps. A normal ear hole is stretched about one millimeter per month with a stretch rod made of titanium or wood. This process is repeated until the flesh tunnel fits in. In this way you can reach up to seven centimeters or more. If the hole is stretched too quickly and too much, the skin on the outer areas can become too thin - which can lead to circulatory disorders.

It cannot be ruled out that the earlobe may tear when stretching. This risk is particularly acute if the hole is not placed exactly in the middle of the earlobe. If the earlobe tears, it is essential to consult a doctor. Because with a normal ear hole, a crack can usually heal by itself after some time. In the case of the flesh tunnel, on the other hand, the hole is so large that it cannot grow over by itself due to the strong scar tissue. In addition, after a tear, the ends no longer have any contact and therefore cannot grow together on the wound by themselves.

Shapes and size

Kikuyu tunnel in Kenya

Flesh tunnels are available in various shapes and sizes: from 1.6 mm to 70 mm and sometimes even more. In addition to different sizes, different materials can be used for Flesh tunnels. Flesh tunnels are available in steel, plastic, wood / horn, silicone, glass or titanium. There are also numerous colors and motifs possible, which should make the jewelry wearer even more individual.


The stretched hole contracts only up to about 12 mm so that it is largely inconspicuous. Once the puncture canal has healed, it is only possible to remove it surgically, and in the case of large diameters, tissue replacement, for example from the neck pit, is transplanted and relined with autologous fat (for example from the stomach).

See also

Web links

Commons : Fleshtunnel  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Anna Fischhaber: Away with the Fleshtunnel . In: sueddeutsche.de . 2014, ISSN  0174-4917 ( sueddeutsche.de [accessed on January 13, 2019]).
  2. a b Flesh tunnel in the ear - "A hole always remains". In: SPIEGEL ONLINE. Retrieved September 16, 2016 .