Are these 'dog ears' and will they go away when swelling subsides? (Photo)

I am 4 weeks post op from a Tummy tuck with muscle repair. I had 2 drains and the hip where I had the drain in the longest is pretty puffy. I am hoping it is just swelling and will go away with time, but does this look like it will require a revision? It is my left hip.

Doctor Answers 6

Are these 'dog ears' and will they go away when swelling subsides? (Photo)

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Thank you for your question. Be patient and allow the swelling to evolve. The resolution and evolution of edema after surgery is as individualized as the person and the procedure itself. Swelling usually peaks 48 hours after surgery and then begins to slowly resolve. In a majority of patients, more than half of the swelling resolves in the two weeks after surgery. The swelling that remains can take several more months to dissipate and this varies depending on the type of surgery and physiologic properties of each patient. I recommend that you make an appointment with your plastic surgeon to discuss your convalescence as well as your concerns.

?? Dog ears

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I really cannot tell for certain from the photos.  This could be swelling, and some would be expected at 4 weeks. It may be a dog ear, since it seems to be at the end of a long incision where getting all the excess skin may be compromised by keeping the incision short enough to avoid having to turn you over in surgery.

Swelling can be expected to resolve, as do some dog ears as the skin remodels some with healing.  Fixing a dog ear is a minor thing that is usually done with local anesthesia, so not a big concern.

Thanks for you question and photos. All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Lateral swelling will improve with time but a dog ear never goes away.

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It looks as though you have some swelling laterally that probably will improve. A dog ear is surplus skin that gathers up on itself and will not improve. From the photographs impossible to make that judgment.

Dogear after tummy tuck?

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You do have a bit of excess at the end of the left side, but 4 weeks is not very long after surgery. Speak to your surgeon about it, but I would give it a few months before considering any revisions unless showing absolutley no improvement with time.

Earl E. Ferguson III, MD, FACS
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Dog ears

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Thank you for the photo and it may be a dog ear.  If it does not resolve with time, I would bring it to the attention of your surgeon

Dr Corbin

Frederic H. Corbin, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Are These Dog Ears?

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It does appear that you have a small dog ear on the left side.  Swelling is certainly making it more noticeable.  With further resolution of the swelling, this may improve enough to avoid revision. But if not, the correction is pretty easy.  Local anesthesia in the office.  Good luck.

William A. Terranova, MD
Charleston Plastic Surgeon

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.