What can be done about these horrible looking "dog ears" I've been left with?

I am at 16mons post op and I am pretty much happy with my results except for the "dog ears" I seem to have been left with. When I first noticed a "gathering" at each end of the incision, I questioned the doctor but I was told that as the swelling went down, the gathering would flatten out. Well, here they are now, looking horrible. My question is...Is this normal or should the scar have been made a bit longer? And will I have to

Doctor Answers 18

Dog ear options after abdominoplasty

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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. The cost will depend on the extent of the surgery, the method used, the cost of the surgery center, and if the original surgeon is doing it. Please speak with your Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Let him/her know your thoughts. Together, you will figure out a plan.

Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Dog ears

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"Dog ears" are not uncommon after surgery.  The surgeon can almost always eliminate "dog ears" at the time of surgery, the downside being, as you noted, a longer incision.  In many circumstances the "dog ears" will in fact, flatten out during wound maturation.  Many surgeons will opt for a shorter scar and intentionally leave "dog ears" to that end.  If the "dog ears" do not flatten out, in most circumstances they can be revised with a simple procedure.  In addition, if the "dog ears" are revised late, meaning after the healing process is completed, the revision may be shorter than if it were repaired at the time of the original surgery.  

Hope this helps.

Disclaimer: The most accurate medical advice requires a complete history and physical with a personal consultation. This is rendered only as general information and is not medical advice. Medical advice can only be obtained by personal contact with a qualified professional. This response does not establish a physician patient relationship.

Stephen M. Herring, MD, DDS
Fayetteville Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

16 months post op

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Thanks for your question. I would advise you to see your PS to discuss treatment options to improve this issue. At 16 months, you've certainly given it enough time for all the swelling to subside, etc. Best of luck.

Richard Wilson, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon

"Dog ears" can be treated

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Thanks for your question. Without a picture or mention of the type of surgery you had done, it is hard to comment. The good news is that skin excess can usually be revised in the office if that is all that it is. Best of Luck!

M. Scott Haydon, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

Dog Ears

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I would certainly address this with your PS. After 16 months, they should be able to address this problem and revise the areas in question. Most of the time, a small revision can be done in the office. If they brush off the problem or tell you to wait longer...I would consider a second opinion. Good Luck.

What can be done about these horrible looking "dog ears" I've been left with?

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Usually dog ears are caused from excess skin and fat.   This can all be corrected by revising the scar and removal of fat.   Which can be done with local numbing solution.

"dog ears"

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It is difficult to say without a photo, but it sounds like you have typical "dog ears" which involves some excess skin and sometimes fat at the edge of the incision. 16 months is enough time for healing that likely what you have is not going to get any better without some sort of intervention. Revising this area is pretty straight forward and involves extending the incision and cutting out this excess tissue. A lot of times this can be done with local anesthesia in the office. If there is a significant amount of excess fat contributing to the dog ear, then you may need some liposuction to smooth out the transition from you stomach to your hips/flanks. You can make an appointment with your PS to see what recommendations he/she has now that you are fully healed. If you no longer feel comfortable with that person, you can always get a second opinion with someone else.

Horrible looking "dog ears"

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It would be helpful to see photos of your abdominoplasty incision. 
"Dogs ears" can occur and may be due to excess skin and/or fat. 16 months is enough time for healing and maturation of the scar. The procedure to revise the excess skin is usually a minor procedure that can be performed with local anesthesia. You should visit your surgeon and discuss what may be done with removing the excess skin and perhaps recontouring if there is any excess adipose (fatty) tissues.

Lawrence J. Chase, MD
Saint George Plastic Surgeon

"Dog Ear" Treatment

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Usually dog ears are addressed by extending the incision and removing more skin and subcutaneous tissue. It is usually a minor procedure with minimal downtime. If enough time has elapsed since surgery your physician can address your concerns relatively easily.  Best of Luck   Dr Harrell

What can be done about these horrible looking "dog ears" I've been left with?

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Based on your description, it sounds like you will benefit from revisionary surgery. This operation will likely involve extension of the tummy tuck incision and removal of the involved skin. Communicate your concerns/questions with your plastic surgeon in front of a full-length mirror. Best wishes.

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.