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 31

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.

How to correct dog ears after a tummy tuck?

Thank you for your question.  Dog ears are often slight puckering of the skin at the ends of your tummy tuck scar.  Some patients will develop these on one or both sides of their scars and these are often corrected by simply excising this excess skin and a small portion of your prior tummy tuck scar.  For some patients, liposuction might also be necessary to remove some underlying fullness.  Commonly this procedure is performed under a local anesthetic.  I would recommend following up with your operating surgeon to discuss your concerns and determine what the best treatment plan for your dog ears would be.  Best of luck!

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.

Correcting dog ears post Tummy Tuck

This happens on occasion with abdominoplasty. There are options. A completely non invasive option would be CoolSculpting. This can freeze the fat and deliver an improved contour. More traditional options are some liposuction, or resection of skin/soft tissue. This is a much smaller procedure than the original surgery and is usually well tolerated. Please speak with your Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Together, you will figure out a plan.

Jeffrey J. Roth, MD, FACS
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

How to correct dog ears after tummy tuck?

Normally the removal of dog ears is fairly straightforward and uncomplicated. The excess skin needs to be removed and the ends of your scar recontoured. Depending on the extent it can be done under a local anesthetic or a general anesthetic. The recovery is much less than it was for your original tummy tuck. You should contact your original surgeon and arrange for a consultation. Good luck!


For a simple and illustrated explanation of tummy tuck and body contouring procedures, watch my video.

John J. Edney, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

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, I always liked that term

After a Tummy tuck or lipo you can get corrective surgery to loose the dog ears and fix any other slight imperfections that might have been caused by the procedure. Dog ears should not be part of the prosedure results but nontheless can happen.

Jonathan Fisher, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 1,001 reviews

Correcting Dog Ears after Tummy Tuck

Dog Ears are easily fixed after a tummy tuck by either liposuction or by excising the small areas of skin. This can be done in the office with local anesthesia as a minor procedure. It is not uncommon to have a small fold of skin where the tummy tuck incision has ended lateral on the hip. Sometimes the skin fold continues past the incision and will need to be excised.

Stanley Castor, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 107 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.