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We all knew this was bound to happen eventually.

Let’s just take a moment to recall ear spacers, those wooden or metal things people would put in their earlobes to stretch the skin out into a circular shape. Not ringing a bell? They look like this:

When most people see something like an ear spacer, they probably think “bad idea.” After all, have you ever wondered what your ear would start to look like once you took it away? It’s not pretty:

As you probably suspected, many of the people who adopted the trend 10 years ago (when it was more popular) are starting to regret it now that they’re growing up and entering the work force. According to the CBC, surgeons are actually seeing a surge in people coming in for a corrective operation that sees these loose earlobes cut, and sewn back together at their base.

The cost of fixing the youthful mistake? Roughly $2,000 (depending on how much work is needed).

“Every time I look in the mirror, I just see it and shake my head,” Kurt Barnett, one of the many people who underwent the procedure, told the public broadcaster.

Barnett was only 19 when he decided to begin the long and painful process of gauging his ears, and increased the size of his spacers until his earlobes were 4.4 centimetres in diameter. He, like many other patients, was really surprised when he learned just how much work would be needed to return his ears back to the way they were.

“I’ve seen patients who are really surprised you don’t just take the spacer out and it goes back to normal,” Dr. Julie Khanna told the CBC.

It’s hard to imagine not expecting at least a little surgery when your ear looks like this though:

Nonetheless, Barnett wants to make a documentary about his experiences so that people thinking about gauging their ears can know all of the potential consequences.

But it turns out you can get spacers just about anywhere. So while a simple operation can cure the regrets of many, we have no idea how this guy is ever going to look remotely normal again:

Guess we’ll see him on the operating table in about 10 years.