Plug earrings are a popular fashion accessory, but what happens when people rethink their decision to have stretched earlobes? They visit a cosmetic surgeon, of course! One woman’s story of earlobe repair surgery after wearing plug earrings was recently profiled on ABC’s The Doctors. You can see her journey in the video above, but be warned: there is some surgical footage that is not for the faint of heart.

Denisse is a 22-year-old woman who used to wear one-and-a-half-inch gauges in her ears. This caused her earlobes to stretch out over time, and she now finds herself regretting her decision. While she no longer wears the plug earrings, she has been left with drooping earlobes and gaping holes.

I’m training to get into nursing school, so I can’t really have big earlobes, she tells her surgeon, and explains that it is often hard to always conceal her stretched earlobes beneath her hair.

Earlobe repair surgery is more common than you might think. Many people experience torn earlobes due to heavy earrings, excess pulling on their earrings, or direct trauma. As well, with the rising popularity of plug earrings “ larger earrings that stretch at the earlobe “ many men and women in their 20s and 30s are having earlobe repair surgery to reverse procedures that were performed in their teens.

Dr. Sandra Lee, who is performing the ear reconstruction surgery, explains the procedure to Denisse in the video.

Dr. Lee explains that she’ll be making a slight incision around the hole because what I need to do is just expose the edges so that they stick together when I sew them. Otherwise, it wouldn’t stay. What am also going to do is remove that excess drooping skin, so that it closes together side-by-side… so it should form a whole new earlobe and it should look very much like the earlobe you were born with.

Right after the procedure, it might just be a little bit swollen. Sometimes you might have a little bit of bruising. You’ll have stitches there that we’ll remove between five and seven days. But it’s really not uncomfortable… You know when you got your ears pierced, when you got your ears stretched, there’s really not that many nerves in the area so maybe it’s a little tender… but I think you should be fine.

It didn’t hurt at all, Denisse says after the procedure. I love them! They look normal.