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I realize the name sounds silly, but “dog ears” can happen after a few different procedures but are most frequently associated with tummy tucks because of the removal of tissue and the tightening of the skin. Dog ears appear as elliptical-shaped bulges at the end of a scar.

So, when we shorten an incision and stop around the inner flank area, just outside the pelvis, extra fat and skin can collect and create a type of fatty-looking lump or puckering of the skin. Obviously, this isn’t the goal of any plastic surgeon, but it is a risk with any tummy tuck, specifically if the focus is on creating a shorter incision.

I understand how important it is to have a short scar after surgery, especially a tummy tuck, because incisions can often run the whole length of the stomach from hip to hip. However, if a plastic surgeon makes an incision too short, you risk developing a dog ear because excess tissue can’t be pulled as taut or flattened.

In some cases where a patient has a lot of extra tissue, it’s important to make a bit of a longer incision to remove the extra skin. Going a little longer in the initial surgery minimizes or eliminates the possibility of the dog ear because we can remove the excess skin on the front end.

Fortunately, if you have had a tummy tuck and have dog ears, they are a pretty simple fix. Your plastic surgeon can go in, make the incision a bit longer, remove the extra tissue and flatten the remaining skin.

Learn more about Dog Ears:

Dr. William Miami

Author Dr. William Miami

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