Ear piercing is generally safe. However avoid piercing the cartilage, avoid cheap metals and avoid large dangling earrings. Split ear lobules are easy to fix under local anaesthetic but surgery leaves a small scar. Collapse of the upper ear due to infection requires reconstruction.
This complex surgery involves harvest of rib cartilage, carving the rub into an ear shape and covering this with skin. Results are highly operator dependant. Mr Ken Stewart runs a national service for ear reconstruction and undertakes such surgery on a weekly basis.