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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 (24)

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

+7

"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!


Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Cutting them out is the best

+3

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.

Bahram Ghaderi, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Small dog ears usually corrected under local

+2

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

+2

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.

Brooke R. Seckel, MD, FACS
Boston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Correct Dog Ears After Tummy Tuck

+1
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 4 reviews

Excision

+1
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.

Gary Lawton, MD, FACS
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

How to Correct Dog Ears After Tummy Tuck?

+1
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.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 794 reviews

Dog Ears Following Tummy Tuck: What Can Be Done

+1

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.

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

Dog ears after tummy tuck

+1
Dog ears occasionally happen after a tummy tuck.  Most plastic surgeons will correct them in the office under local anesthesia at minimal cost to the patient.  They occur because we often flex the patient at the waist as we close the skin and as the patient stretches the central portion of the abdominal skin small areas of excess skin or "dog ears" result on the sides of the incision.  

Susan D. Vasko, MD, FACS
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

How to Correct Dog Ears After Tummy Tuck?

+1
Dog ears occur from time to time after a tummy tuck.  They can be treated in multiple ways including liposuction, or directly cutting them out with local anesthesia use.  This can even be done in the office and not require a return to the operating room.  Most likely they will be cut out and this is a simple and safe procedure.

For more information, please go to my website at:
WirthPlasticSurgery.com

Garrett A. Wirth, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

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.