How can I Ensure Good Results from My Tummy Tuck Revision for Bulges?

At 10 days post-op from a full tummy tuck, my doctor removed my bandages and drainage tubes and immediately commented that I would need a revision surgery for bulges at either end of my incision. He said that he could perform this simple procedure in 3 months. My question is, how does this happen and what exactly needs to be done to ensure a good final result? How long could I expect the healing to take with this revision?

Doctor Answers 6

Tummy Tuck Revision

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Your surgeon is good, and honest.  He or she tried to leave you with the shortest possible scar.  In the end, for the amount of extra skin and fat on your body before the tummy tuck, as it turns out, your shorter scar has left you with residual remaining skin and fat on the sides, where the operation wasn't performed.  To smooth out the junction between operated and non-operated area, he or she may need to do a minor office "dog-ear" excision.  No big deal, minimal risk, quick and easy recovery, essentially a "finishing touch" type of revision.  You will need a longer scar because of your size, but not much longer.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Bulges after tummy tuck

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This is a relatively common problem (called a 'standing cone' or a 'dog ear'!) after tummy tuck or breast reduction. Basically whenever large amount of skin is removed, the two ends of the scar always have a tendency to stand proud - this happens as the surgeon tries to limit the length of the scar.

The correction is done by removing more skin and fat from the ends (and thus lengthening the scar) as a minor procedure.

It was nice of your surgeon to admit the problem readily and to offer a revision.

Anindya Lahiri, FRCS (Plast)
Birmingham Plastic Surgeon

Looks quite nice!!!

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It looks like your surgeon did a nice job with your tummy tuck.  There is, however, a fullness that is created at the ends of the scar.  This occurs because of the tension in the middle of the scar which tapers quickly towards the ends.  The skin at the ends of the incision is under much less tension, so it bulges and is affectionately called a "Dog ear."   This is certainly not an unheard of issue after a tummy tuck and is usually repaired by a small procedure, often done under local anesthesia in the office.  It requires removal off a few centimeters of skin from each side.  The procedure is easy to recover from with minimal downtime and discomfort (usually less than a week.)  I'm sure you will do well with this minor revision.  Enjoy your results!!!

Daniel Sherick, MD
Ann Arbor Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

How can I Ensure Good Results from My Tummy Tuck Revision for Bulges?

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Hi Philly mom!  The procedure is called a "dog ear" revision and requires removing the bulging skin and fat at the ends of the incision on either side.  It is a simple, outpatient procedure done under a local anesthesia.  This is not uncommon after a tummy tuck, as the area where the greatest dimension of skin is removed is in the central part of the lower abdomen, and then it is more narrow as it tapers off to the hip area.  Because of this, somtimes there is a small amount of puckering or fullness that we refer to as a "dog ear".   Recovery for a "dog ear" revision is minimal, and you should be able to return to work likely the next day if your job does not require lifting.  The good news is you got a beautiful result and your surgeon not only did an excellent job, but he has offered to do your revision in 3 months.  Good luck.

Amy T. Bandy, DO, FACS
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Tummy Tuck Extension

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Your tummy looseness and excess extended a bit to your sides. The budges you refer to are the portions of that excess that were not encompassed by your original procedure. If you just have these small areas of skin and fat on your sides removed the procedure should be much lower impact than your tummy tuck.

Best Regards,

John Di Saia MD

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon

Tummy tuck revision

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Thank you for the question and picture.

Your surgeon has done a nice job for you, considering that you have had a standard tummy tuck procedure performed.  It may be that you will ultimately be pleased with the results of surgery after “dog ears” our excised  at each end of the incision.

I am concerned, however that you may not be pleased with the results of surgery  until the residual skin and adipose tissue of the flank and back areas are excised (completion/belt lipectomy).


Treatment of the stubborn muffin top involves excision (lipectomy) of excess skin and adipose tissue. Liposuction  surgery alone  will potentially leave you with loose skin and an  unsatisfactory result.Although not relevant in your case, patients who are undergoing a standard tummy tuck procedure  should be aware however that often an “extended” tummy tuck is necessary to treat the muffin top area. This extended tummy tuck procedure involves flank and back skin and adipose tissue excision as well as liposuction surgery. If liposuction alone is done the patient may still end up with residual muffin top and require further surgery to improve the waistline in the future.

I hope this helps.

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.