Is There Anyway to Predict if Someone Will Have Dog Ears Before a TT?

I've been reading about a lot of patients who experience dogears (hip bulges) after a TT. Is there any way to predict in advance who will experience this? (I am 5'4", 125 lbs w/a good amount of padding on my hips and fairly small waist) I can't really afford to do lipo too, but understand its cheaper to do at same time as TT than as a separate procedure done later on. I would be very unhappy to spend all this money and then have dogears after. Thanks for your advice!

Doctor Answers 18

Dog ears after tummy tuck

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Dog ears actually occur as a result of excess fatty tissue more so than excess skin. One way to avoid this is it to perform a thorough liposuction of the flanks and hips at the time of the abdominoplasty.

If the corner of the lateral incision has too much subcutaneous fat at the end of the procedure, you will get dog ears.

Since I almost always aggressively liposuction this area, I rarely experience these pesky bulges. Ocassionally, we see what I call dog tags, which is just a small bit of lax skin, which can be easily revised at 3 months if needed.

Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Dog ears after tummy tuck

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Dog ears can occur when there is excess skin of the flanks and the incisions are limited to the front of the abdomen. The more abdominal skin you remove from the abdomen the longer the incision needs to be to prevent formation of a dog ear.
Your surgeon can demonstrate the expected length of your incision during your consultation. When significant excess skin is present in the thigh and buttock an incision going completely around the body will be necessary to achieve the best contour and eliminate any chance of a dog ear. 
Given your size and weight the creation of a dog ear would be unusual. Generally speaking, dog ear correction can be performed in the surgeons office using local anesthesia if it occurs.
I hope this was helpful.

Robert W. Kessler, MD, FACS
Corona Del Mar Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 130 reviews

Dogears after Tummy Tuck most often a matter of design

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Hi there-

While there are certainly patient factors that may contribute to the risk of needing to have a dogear managed after surgery, including being overweight at the time of surgery, having lots of stretch marks in the hip area, etc..., there are also technical and planning details (that your surgeon controls) that can contribute to the risk...

In other words, provided you are a good candidate for the surgery (and it sounds like you are), you should remember that aesthetic surgery is art and science- and your best chances of having the best outcome you can will occur in the hands of the best surgeons.

How to identify these surgeons? Please read this:

Preventing Dog-Ears after Tummy Tuck

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We always try to prevent dog-ears (excess skin and fat at the end of a scar line) from occurring.

A well designed incision is important; if we try to limit the length of the incision too much, dog-ears will result.

Still, even in the best of hands, dog ears can sometimes lead us to do a little "touch-up" with local anesthetic, in the office to remove the dog ear.

Paul C. Zwiebel, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Dog Ears After Tummy Tuck

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There is no reason why anyone should have dog ears after a tummy tuck.  However, you need to let the surgeon make an appropriate incision for your anatomy.  Some patients demand a certain length incision (usually too short than is needed for a nice results and they could end up with dog ears.  When you make your bed, you need to pull the sheets up all the way across the bed.  If you only pull from the middle then the edges will bunch up.  This is the same thing that happens when people try to get away with too short of an incision.  Good luck with your procedure.

Is There Anyway to Predict if Someone Will Have Dog Ears Before a TT?

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With very careful planning and execution, “dog ear" occurrence can be minimized. Occasionally (despite best efforts), 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.

Dog ears after tummy tuck

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I work very hard to try to avoid dog ear formation after a tummy tuck, but inevitably once in a while I have to adjust the corners a few months later in some individuals.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Dog ears with tummy tuck

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A small dog ear at either end of the incision at the conclusion of the operation is normal. Ensuring equal lengths to the upper and lower incisions will reduce the tendency for do ears as well as gentle de-fatting of the wound edges. Attempting to shorten the incision will likely result in a greater likelihood of dog ears.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Avoiding "Dog Ears" with tummy tuck.

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Thanks for your question -

In our San Francisco area practice we frequently perform abdominoplasty.  The biggest factor causing dog ears (think triangles of extra tissue at the ends of the incision that stick out somewhat) is performing abdominoplasty in people that are a bit overweight.

Techniques like liposuction or extending the scar can be used to avoid this in patients that are a bit heavy.  With your weight it would be unlikely that you wound have this as an issue.

Best of luck and I hope this helps!

Dog ears after tummy tuck

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If your surgeon carefully measures the upper and lower incisions at the time of your abdominoplasty, dog ears can be avoided.  They may occur if the patient limits the length of the incision, but your surgeon should guide you as to what is necessary.  Liposuction of the hips can help as well.

David A. Lickstein, MD
Palm Beach Gardens 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.