What is a Dog Ear After Plastic Surgery?

Board Certified Female Plastic Surgeon specializing in Breast Lift, Breast Reduction, and Implant Removal, Serving Las Vegas, Henderson, and Nearby Areas of Nevada


Dog earsIn plastic surgery, a dog ear is a term used to describe a point or fold at the end of a skin-tightening incision. They are common at the sides of tummy tuck incisions or the end of breast reduction scars. They may look like little bumps at the end of surgical scars.

This blog from board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Hayley Brown breaks down what dog ears after plastic surgery are, what causes them, and your options for improving their appearance. Dr. Brown has decades of experience helping her patients achieve natural, harmonious results. Read on to learn about dog ears and how she can help you reduce them.

What Causes Dog Ears in Plastic Surgery?

Dog ears in plastic surgery are most commonly seen at the end of incisions after these procedures:

During a tummy tuck, excess skin is removed in an elliptical shape between your belly button and pubic area. Then, the remaining skin is stretched and tightened and reattached at the incision site. During a breast reduction, your skin will be tightened along the inferior breast fold

After either procedure, your skin will be tightest in the center of the scar, less tight on the edges of the scar, and not tightened at all past the borders of the scar.

Dog ears are formed because of the difference in skin tightness of the incision and the tissue surrounding it. Because the skin is tighter along the scar and looser further away, it tends to pucker. Imagine how, when you dart fabric, the tuck at the sides naturally comes to a point. Dog ears after plastic surgery work the same way.

Dog Ears in "Mini" Surgeries

Patients often ask Dr. Brown about the "mini" tummy tuck because it has a smaller scar and shorter recovery period. Some patients are not as comfortable with the scar that comes with a full tummy tuck and find the smaller scar of a "mini" tummy tuck more acceptable.

However, "mini" tummy tucks are equally susceptible to dog ears. Dr. Brown has seen cases where a "mini" tummy tuck patient had post-operative revision surgery on their dog ears, only to be left with a full-tummy-tuck-sized scar without the dramatic results of a full tummy tuck.

Treating Dog Ears

There are numerous ways dog ears can be treated to help improve their appearance, including:

  • Massage
  • Steroid injections
  • Scar revision surgery

Revision surgery for dog ears involves removing a small, elliptical-shaped piece of tissue from the end of the scar. This will reduce the size of the dog ear while extending the length of the scar.

Contact Our Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon Today

Dr. Brown is one of the premier plastic surgeons in the Las Vegas area. As a female plastic surgeon, she understands the needs and desires of the women who trust her with their bodies in a way that few other plastic surgeons do.

Dr. Brown serves Henderson, Las Vegas, and nearby areas of Nevada. Call (702) 260-7707 today to schedule a consultation.