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Dog Ears After Tummy Tuck

Ive had a breast lift with implants, tummy tuck. Ive ganied weight to have a fat transfer to the buttocks weight now 175 5"6. Ive notice since day one that I have had this extra skin that stood out on the left side of my hip. where the scar stops now Ive gained weight n its worst. Q: how can I get it removed? I went back to my doc ask him what this he said i need a hip lift.??? fuuny i didnt need one when i frist came in. thank you for reading

Doctor Answers (16)

Weight gain increases visibility of lateral "dog ears" after tummy tuck.

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Do you really want fat grafts to your buttocks? If you gained weight (for whatever reason), your buttocks gained more fat than can usually be transferred via grafting (and gained it way more evenly), but what happens when you lose weight? You will be left with lumps, bumps, and scar tissue unless you are at ideal or at least stable and healthy weight when you have fat grafting procedures! You are asking for trouble IMHO, but that is not your question, so I will answer that.

The lateral dog ear is common after tummy tuck, particularly if your skin laxity extended around your hips towards the buttocks. That is why your surgeon actually did an extended abdominoplasty to try to help deal with the skin excess you have. A "hip lift," buttock lift, or completion belt lift will optimally correct the excess skin and fat issue, but simple local anesthesia excision of the residual dog ear will be the easiest and least costly option. This is common with tummy tuck patients who have anatomy similar to yours, and touch-up or revisional surgery costs should have been discussed by your surgeon at the time of your initial surgery. Alternately, if you are having cosmetic surgery elsewhere, he may excise the dog ear without additional charge.

BTW, your surgeon didn't offer a "hip lift" at your initial surgical consultation unless you asked him about this area, or expressed concern about the hip and buttock areas. He also didn't ADD any tissue during your surgery; he only removed loose skin and fat with your extended abdominoplasty. Gaining weight simply "puffed out" skin that is more loose as compared to the tightened areas, and losing that weight you gained to create donor fat for grafting should help to reduce this dog ear to a less visible state, but one that you may still wish to excise! Good luck!

Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 155 reviews

Dog aers after tummy tuck

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"Dog ears" after tummy tuck are not rare, and can usually be corrected by a minor revision in the office. A small amount of liposuction may also be of benefit. If you are planning to return to the OR for a fat transfer that would be a convenient time to deal with this issue as well.

Mark Preston, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Dog ears are easily corrected.

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The excess tissue you see is known as a "dog ear" and is simply some excess tissue which was not removed at the initial tummy tuck.  This is relatively common in spite of the best attempts to contour all tissues at the first operation.  Correction can be done with local anesthesia and a small re-excision.  If you wish to have that area with slightly less bulk, some liposuction can be done at the same time, again with only local anesthesia.  Your surgeon should be amenable  to revising this to maximize your result and complete an excellent result.

Tummy Tuck Dog Ears Can Be Easily Revised

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Dogears at the ends of a tummy tuck incision are not rare. While manuevers are done during the procedure for their prevention, they can still occur. If it is just the small fold of skin that is a concern, this can be easily removed under local anesthesia in the office. If you want reduction of the fat fullness and the dogear, then a slightly more extensive procedure may be needed. Either way, you have a realtively minor problem that can be easily remedied.

Need removal of dogear

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If you are concerned with the dogear itself I believe your surgeon can address this with a minor procedure to improve your incision.  If you are concerned about the fullness laterally, I believe your surgeon is right that a lateral thigh lift with direct excision may be required to get rid of all the loose skin and fat.  You and surgeon need to set your expectation on this revision.

Dog Ears After Tummy Tuck

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A simple procedure under local anesthesia can smooth the dog ear for you.  You could benefit from liposuction to your hips too, but if you are going to loose the weight, then I would recommend waiting until you have reached your goal weight.

Amy T. Bandy, DO, FACS
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 91 reviews

Dog ears or hip fat after tummy tuck

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A dog ear is a skin fold where your tummy tuck incision stops, and revision by following the scar out to side can improve the contour. The scar line of course is lengthened. Often liposuction is helpful in the hip to smoother the transition from the abdomen. Lose the extra weight and consider liposuction to reduce the hip roll.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Revision after a tummy tuck

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The specific problem you are describing is a "dog ear".  It can occur with any type of scar.  Basically, some excess tissue is left behind in the region of the end of the scar.  This extra tissue causes the scar to bunch up and stick out.  It can occur with tummy tucks more frequently if the closure of the incisions is not performed meticulously.  Revision of this "dog ear" is performed relatively easily in the office under local anesthesia. 

Naveen Setty, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Dog ears are easy to fix

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A dog ear is a pleat of skin and fat created when the tummy tuck flap is removed and skin is sutured closed.  These pleats can be removed with liposuction, skin removal and or direct fat and skin removal.  It can usually be done with local anesthesia. 

Dev Wali, MD
Claremont Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Dogears after tummy tuck

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Sometimes dog years occur after tummy tucks, and may be asymmetric. These can be improved with a small additional excision of fat and skin.

Jeff Scott, MD
Everett Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 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.