Vertical Clitoral Hood (VCH) Piercing Nightmare (Pierced Too Deep & Jewelry TOO Short)

I got a message from a woman who got a VCH piercing that was terribly botched. The piercing was wayyy too deep and the jewelry far too short; it became embedded under her hood. She suffered horribly in agony and nearly had to undergo surgery to remove the jewelry.

Image below is of the botched piercing. The "inverted-V" of the hood is marked. That is where the bottom ball of the curved barbell should be visible. The arrow points to the approimate location of where the piercing should have actually been made. You can see that it is about twice as "deep" (far away from the edge of the hood) as it should have been. And the jewelry was far, far too short. The piercing was done by Brandi Colquitt at Innercity Ink in Tulsa‎, OK‎.

Marked image of botched VCH piercing

She wrote:
I went 4 days ago and had a vertical hood piercing done. I was so excited, I had been wanting it done for some time. A woman I had been to for other piercings is who I decided to stick with for this one.

The pain was intense. I could barely stand it. From the beginning, you couldn't see the bottom ball under the hood. Three days later, the swelling and pain was so bad I could barely sit. I called the piercer and went in to have her check it.

She said I needed longer jewelry and that she couldVCH 1 hour post piercing change it out, but that it would be very painful. She suggested instead that I go home, take ibuprofen and ice packs.
I went home and did that for about an hour. I noticed all the pain was gone. I felt around, and the top ball had come off. (This is after she couldn't get it off at the shop.)

I rushed back to the shop to have her change it out. But she said she didn't want to do that, and that she just needed to remove it, let it heal, and pierce it again in a month. I agreed. She went to remove it, and couldn't find the bottom ball. After agony and get trying to get it out, I gave up. She said go home and continue to ice it.

When I got home, I just knew that wasn't a good idea. I decided to go to the ER. After 5 1/2 hrs I found out that I have an infection and that piercing is deeply embedded and will have to be cut out. The ER wanted me to see a gynocologist since they specialize in female anatomy.

I went today. Because of how deep it is the Dr. is uncomfortable with doing this in office. The wants to try to cut open where the top of the piercing was and pull it out. If this doesn't work, I will be having surgery in the hospital next week, full anesthesia and all.

I am devastated. Can't she be held liable for negligence?? Waivers can't cover complete negligence can they???? I've talked to another nationally known piercer here in Tulsa. She has told me that has fixed many a botched piercing from this other girl, that I am not the first one to go through this. How can this "professional" get away with this? It's not like I let it go on for weeks. It was less than 72 hrs. Just a little over 2 days. And now I need surgery??? HELP!

Picture above right was taken one hour after the piercing. The image below was 72 hours after the piercing.
Botched Hood Piercing 72 hours post-piercingMy reply:

Oh my goodness, I'm totally appalled! I would suggest you consult an attorney about that. I have been listed as an expert witness on piercing on TASA--the Attorney's Referral Service. If proper practices weren't followed, I could testify about that.

Do you know the gauge and length of the jewelry bar?  And the size of the balls?

Then I saw the photos. I wrote:

Holey moley! I've seen a lot of botched piercings, but nothing quite like yours. What a horrific story!

If there is anything I can do to help, please let me know. You're more than welcome to use any information from my book, The Piercing Bible--The Definitive Guide to Safe Body Piercing (in terms of appropriate placement for he piercing, for example) if it will assist you.

I would suggest you consult an attorney about that. I have been listed as an expert witness on piercing on TASA--the Attorney's Referral Service. If proper practices weren't followed, I could testify about that.
Botched Hood Piercing 72 hours post-piercing

Do you know the gauge and length of the jewelry bar?  And the size of the balls?

She wrote again:

I went to an APP member piercer in town yesterday. THANKFULLY he was able to get the jewelry out. After having two other nationally known piercers look at pics and everything yesterday, they both told me it was done entirely wrong. The exit above the wound is almost half an inch too high. The jewelry he said, without measuring it, was either 3/8" or 7/16" in length when, due to the piercing, it should have been an inch. 

[Elayne's added note here--the piercing was done way too deep, not at the natural apex underneath the hood where it should have been placed. So, rather than needing a 1" piece of jewelry, the piercing should never have been done that far up her hood.]

I also found out today that the girl who did the piercing doesn't have a current license. The state will not renew it because she owes 2 years of child support. I already contacted the health department and they are going to investigate. I also contacted multiple media outlets. One radio station already wants to do a segment on this. I don't want to be a martyr. I will remain anonymous. But I refuse to let this happen to anyone else if I can help it.

What about people that don't have insurance? What about those who don't have basic medical knowledge and realize when something is so bad that you need to go to the ER?? What happens to those? Necrosis? Fascitis? Sepsis?

Botched Vertical Clitoral Hood (VCH) Piercing after jewelry removal
Photo above after jewelry was successfully removed

Any professional opinions you can give me on this are greatly appreciated. I love body modifications. I trusted her. She has me terrified to ever attempt getting this done again. Mike, who saw me yesterday, after seeing how deeply she pierced it, and the mangling she had done, couldn't believe I was able to sit through all of that, he doesn't know how I did it. He is willing to testify, give a written statement, anything I need to go after her for this. She has cost me a couple hundred in medical bills to fix this already. I will not let this go. She will not do this to anyone else. Ever.

Thia is horiffic! It's really made me think hard about getting mine done now :/

This is terrible and no piercer should ever be allowed to do this, but I would also like to point out that this piercing/ tattoo shop is located in a relatively shady area of Tulsa, which is probaly not where you should be getting a piercing on such an important body part. I'm glad Elayne did my piercing!

Completely serious - Judge Judy. This is exactly the kind of things she has on her show. In fact, I've seen cases re:tattooing gone bad. Otherwise, local small claims court because your damages are <$5K. You don't need a lawyer for that. 


Thank you so much for posting this! I got a piercing done back in March at Maria Tash and NYC and a few days ago I noticed the top bar of the piercing was exposed and wouldn't go in. I tried pushing it down and checking it out the next few days and then realized I couldn't find the bottom ball of my barbell AT ALL. I went back to the piercer who wanted to "pop it out" and after screaming in pain and asking if I should go to a doctor she told me to do whatever I want--so I ran out of there. Five days ago my gynocologist used a local anesthesia and tried pushing it out but told me she wouldn't be able to and it would need to be cut out. I've been freaking out whenever anyone goes near there now so she suggested I go under general anesthesia but that i wait until I return from Burning Man since the dust and sand might infect the wound. Now that I'm checking it daily I've noticed the embedded ball is moving up towards the top exit of the piercing--- it basically seems like my  body is pushing the embedded ball out. I'm very nervous about leaving it in for another month until I return from my trip. If you have any advice on how I should proceed I would REALLY appreciate it. No one I've spoken to has ever seen or heard anything like this. 


thanks to amazing mike for helping a sister out. it is appalling a "professional" would find this acceptable. :(

I am the piercer that removed the jewelry from this poor woman. The experience with her was one of the most intense situations I have ever had to deal with in a piercing. I felt so bad for her and could only imagine the expierence she had with the other piercer. I was able to get the jewelry out with minimal trauma to the affected area, but the emotional scarring is going to take her a long time to get over. The barbell that she was pierced with was at best a 7/16 curved barbell. The statement I made about it "needing to be a 1" long" was just to reference how improperly deep she was pierced. I am glad we were able to get this jewelry out and all is well, now.