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How to Correct Dog Ears After Tummy Tuck?

I had a  Tummy Tuck 5 years ago. The scar healed very well and is very low, but I have dog ears on both sides. Is there a way to correct this?

Doctor Answers 26

Very common, easy to fix dog ears in the office as a minor procedure

"Dog ears" are very common after abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), so do not fret. I estimate maybe as many as 20% of all patients that undergo tummy tuck will end up with some degree of one on at least one side.

Some dog ears are simply puckers in the skin that only require reopening a portion of the "scar" and excising the loose skin, and some have residual underlying fullness that needs liposuction touch up to improve the shape.

Oftentimes, it is some of both. I wait until 6 months after a tummy tuck to determine if there is one present, and if so, will usually correct them as an office procedure under simple local anesthesia.

With some xylocaine in the office, touch up liposuction and excision of dog ears can be easily performed with a rapid recovery.

I hope this helps!

Cutting them out is the best

Fixing dog ears is best done by just removing them and extending the scar on either side which what would have avoided them in the first place. You can liposuction them to decrease the amount of the scar you have to have. It all depends on how big the dog ears are. If they are very small and easily concealed, then no treatment may be an option. If they are moderate in size, then cutting them out is the choice. If they are large, then a combination of lipo and removal would be the ideal. Discuss this with your surgeon and go over all your options.

How to Correct Dog Ears After Tummy Tuck?

Occasionally, after tummy tuck surgery surgery, patients will have excess skin or adipose tissue at the very end of their incision lines. These may be referred to as “dog ears”. "Dog ears"  refer to a bunching up of tissue at the end of a incision line/scar. Generally they occur  because a surgeon,  in his/her attempt to keep the scar as short as possible,  has a discrepancy between the lengths  of the upper and lower tummy tuck incision lines. They can be avoided by extending the incisions and removing additional skin and subcutaneous tissue. Most patients will much prefer a longer incision line than  the bunching up of tissue and contour elevation, which is visible and palpable with and without clothing.  Often, excision of the dog ear, if it's still a concern roughly one year postoperatively can be corrected easily under local anesthesia. I hope this helps.

Small dog ears usually corrected under local

Dog ears which are small can usually be corrected by a procedure which can be done under local either in the operating room or even in a treatment room. If there are bulges not just a little excess skin then liposuction of the area may be done as well.

I would recommend you discuss this with your original surgeon-- most surgeons will fix dogears with out any additional charge if they did the original surgery . Otherwise, there may a fee for a new surgeon to fix the dogears.

Susan E. Downey, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
3.5 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Excision and localized liposuction can help dog ears after Tummy Tuck

Dog ears after tummy tuck can be corrected but the scars will be longer and extended out toward the flank or hip. Occaisionally excess fat causes the dog ear to be more noticeable and in these cases liposuction can help flatten the dog ear.

Dog ears are usually straightforward to fix

Dog ears are skin puckers where the end of your incision blends back into your untightened skin.  These may become apparent as the skin relaxes and your swelling improves.  These puckers are usually easily fixed under local anesthetic with minimal impact on your recovery.  

Dog ears

"Dog ears" are very common after mini tummy tuck sometimes the scar is too short an the result is extra skin at the end of the scar 
The best way to remove them is by extending the scar. Also some lipo will help

Carlos Lopez Collado, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Correct Dog Ears After Tummy Tuck

When there is skin puckering at the ends of the scar we call this dog ears.  It is possible for this to happen after abdominoplasty surgery.  Usually to fix this requires excising the dog ear- this can be performed under local anesthesia but this does result in lengthening the scar.  In some, localized liposuction may work.  in general we try to avoid dog ears- sometimes a slightly longer scar at the time of abdominoplasty may work out better in the long run.

George Volpe, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Excision

The only way to correct dog ears is to excise them surgically.  Extending the scar to remove the lateral excess skin gives a nice result.

Dog Ears Following Tummy Tuck: What Can Be Done

Dog ears are abnormal bulges of tissue that typically occur along the ends of surgical incisions.  This problem occurs for a variety of reasons, including discrepancies in length of the opposing wound borders and wound closures around curved contours.

Dog ears can occasionally be seen following abdominoplasty surgery.  When this occurs secondary surgery may be necessary.  In most cases this involves a simple excision of the dog ear under local anesthesia.  In other cases where the dog ear is large and extends posteriorly towards the back, correction may require extension of the incision in a posterior direction.  In some cases where an abnormal roll of tissue is present, this incision may extend to the midline of the back.

Although every effort is made to avoid dog ears during the primary surgical procedure, this complication is occasionally unavoidable.  When the situation arises it’s important to discuss your options with your plastic surgeon.  Your surgeon should be able to formulate a treatment plan that addresses your concerns.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.