Autopsy Technician Explains What Happens To Piercings When You Die (2023)

An autopsy technician has revealed what happens to your piercings when you die, and more than one aspect of his answer might surprise you.


Gerald Ledford (@big_led73) has grown a huge audience of 1.4 million on TikTok after sharing insider knowledge from his job.

Ledford often answers questions from his curious followers, one of whom recently asked what happens to piercings during an autopsy.

They wrote: “What about piercings. When I die I absolutely need to keep everyone single one. Facial and body piercings.”

Do they all get removed, or do autopsy technicians leave them in place so that you can enjoy death with all your favourite jewellery?"

As Ledford explained, it’s a bit of both – as there’s just one particular piercingthat always has to be taken out... And it’s probably not the one you’re thinking of.

He said: “You worried I’m going to take your piercings out and you don’t get to take them with you?”

Shaking his head, Ledford continued: “The only one that I take out is your tongue ring.

“I remove your tongue during an autopsy – we need to make sure you didn’t bite down on it, make sure you don’t have drugs in the back of your throat.

“So if you have a tongue ring, that one comes out, but nipples, nose, ears, eyebrow, private parts...”

Autopsy Technician Explains What Happens To Piercings When You Die (1)

His video has racked up more than 215,000 likes and 2.5 million views, along with thousands of comments from stunned TikTokers.

Many people, it seemed, remained stuck on one key detail of Ledford’s revelation, having been absolutely horrified at the prospect of having their tongue ripped out, even if it is after they’ve passed away.

One commented: “Wait! What? Everyone's tongue is removed.”

Someone else said: “So you’re telling me every time I’ve been to a funeral, the person was just chilling with no tongue andI didn’t know.”

A third wrote: “Wait - you take out the tongue? Can I sign a no tongue removal clause?”

A fourth added: “Well... that's something I didn't need to learn today.”

Autopsy Technician Explains What Happens To Piercings When You Die (2)

In another video, Ledford explained that you can never predict how many autopsies you might do in one day, saying sometimes you’ll do none, while on other occasions you might rattle through ‘a lot’.

“You can’t predict death,” he said.“You never know who’s going to need an autopsy.”

However, Ledford added: “The most I’ve autopsied in one day was eight – I did eight on a Monday afternoon.

“We started at 1.30, and I didn’t get home until, like, 9.30pm.”

And you thought you’d had bad Mondays...


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