Puffiness at Ends of Incision. Are They Dog Ears? Will They Flatten? (photo)

I went in for a mole removal two days ago with a facial plastic surgeon. It was excised in an elliptical shape. The first few hours the excision appeared level but now there is puffiness at both ends of the excision. Are these dog ears, or just swelling or fluid trapped? Will they flatten over time?

Doctor Answers 2

Takes time

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hi, elliptical incision can result in dog ears, in your case its to early to know starting with what you described that it wasnt like that at the day of the surgery. its a small incision. just when the stitches go out star massaging the area and use some scar ointments. if they persist probably you'll need a revision. 

Dog Ears

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Dog-ears commonly occur at the tail ends of a long wound closure after an ellipitical excision of tissue. In body contouring where large amounts of tissue are excised, they are not rare. Frequently, they occur after abdominoplasties, breast lift and reductions, and any other large elliptical skin removals. We look carefully for them at the time of surgery since we know they do occur. When seen, they are excised and closed so that incision lays flat. This often will extend the length of the incision somewhat.

For smaller elliptical incisions, these are less common. It appears from your photographs that the sutures are still in place. Since the dog ears were not apparent immediately after your surgery, it is less likely that they will persist once the natural swelling from the procedure has resolved. I recommend that you wait several weeks after your sutures are removed and show the incision to your surgeon at that time if the puffiness persists.

Temp Patterson, MD
Burley Facial Plastic Surgeon

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