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.

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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.

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
3.8 out of 5 stars 8 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 after a Tummy Tuck

Excess skin and fatty tissue that persist along the outer aspects of the wound is often referred to as a "dog ear"
They can occur after a Tummy Tuck procedure and can sometimes be quite dramatic and to some degree unavoidable.  Correction often involves the simple excision of the dog ear/s by extending the scar under local anaesthetic.

Eddy Dona, MBBS, FRACS
Sydney Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Yes

"Dog ears" or raised/loose areas of extra skin at the ends of your tummy tuck scar are very common. They are related to surgical planning and technique and may be inevitable in some due to constraints on the length of the scar and the mismatch between the length of the upper and lower edges of skin.
A simple office procedure under local anesthesia can remove dog ears by simply extending the length of the scar slightly but still keeping it well within your underwear or bathing suit coverage area.

David J. Levens, MD
Coral Springs Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 66 reviews

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
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

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!

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.