What causes dog ears tummy tuck? This is arguably the most common concern of people who want to get rid of their apron-like skin and fat that hangs from their lower abdomen.
Leading Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Tarick Smiley has recently posted a series of Snapchat videos to explain dog ears, which refer to puckering of skin usually at the end of a scar. This is not uncommon after tummy tuck and other body contouring surgeries that rely on skin tightening.
But should dog ears appear after tummy tuck, Dr. Smiley says about 90 percent of the time they go away on their own within a year postop.
In the event that dog ears persist after one year, Dr. Smiley says a small revision (office procedure under local anesthesia) is generally enough to eliminate the puckering or fullness at one or both ends of the tummy tuck scar.
A revision typically entails slightly extending the scar laterally to remove a small amount of skin; however, a few patients may need minor liposuction to further eliminate the fullness.
Dr. Smiley says one way to prevent or at least minimize the risk of dog ears after tummy tuck is extending the scar laterally; the idea is to use an incision pattern that reaches all the redundant skin and fat.
Recently, Dr. Smiley performed tummy tuck on a patient who did not care so much about the length of scar, provided that it would not result in dog ears appearance. Hence, during surgery the surgeon extended the incision line more laterally that it reached her flanks.
Nonetheless, Dr. Smiley placed the tummy tuck incision line within the groin and pubic hairline so the patient’s underwear or two-piece bikini could hide it with ease.
Aside from strategic placement of the incision line, the celebrity plastic surgeon says the use of meticulous suturing techniques also ensures the most favorable scar—i.e., flat, symmetric, and faded line.
The key to achieve the “best” tummy tuck scar is to close the wound in multiple layers without picking up the skin so that no excessive tension can pull its surface, which might cause the scar to migrate higher or thicken.