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What Are “Dog Ears” And Can They Be Avoided?

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Dog ears

After a Double Incision Mastectomy procedure, a “dog ear” can be the result of excess skin and fat that protrudes and puckers from the outermost portion of the incision as it curves around the side of the chest towards the armpit. “Dog Ears” are the most common reason for a revision surgery after a double incision mastectomy and no matter who your top surgeon doctor is, there are a variety of factors that can influence the results from your surgery, including the development of dog ears. During your post-operative appointments, your surgical site and chest will be examined and Dr. McLean will carefully track your progress and recovery to ensure it is as smooth as successful as it can be.

Preventing Dog Ears After a Double Incision Mastectomy

If a dog ear does in fact occur, a revision surgery can easily correct the issue, but it is important to remember that dog ears are not 100% avoidable. For some transmen, not all the excess skin and fat can be removed from the initial procedure and dog ears are almost always guaranteed. There is a growing number of top surgeons who, with surgical techniques, can consistently avoid the development of dog ears. This includes doing additional liposuction at the sides of the chest, right below the armpits. For transmen who have less skin to remove, the chance of developing dog ears is lowered. The following lists factors that can minimize the chance of developing dog ears.


You can help avoid dog ears by being at or staying close to your ideal weight before your double incision mastectomy. However, if you do have excess body weight, it does not mean you will, with 100% certainty, develop dog ears.


This is completely dependent on the natural symmetry of your chest contour.

Larger Incisions:

The chance of developing dog ears decreases with a longer incision that wraps around the side of your body towards the back.

Post-Operative Care:

It is absolutely crucial to follow your surgeon’s post-operative instructions very carefully. These instructions will help ensure that your recovery and healing process is as smooth and seamless as possible.

Treating Dog Ears After a Double Incision Mastectomy

A secondary revision procedure can easily correct dog ears after your double mastectomy. After this revision procedure, the contour of the incision is often close to perfect. If you are considering a double incision mastectomy, it is important to remember that the development of dog ears could be a risk. You must ensure that you consult with a specially trained and experienced Top Surgeon, such as Dr. McLean, who will be able to provide you with all the information you need to know about dog ears and what he will do to minimize the chance of this occurring based on your body and type of procedure. Revision procedures are very common and are often part of the transitioning process as a whole, but do keep in mind that dog ears are not an absolute. Following your top surgeon’s post-operative instructions is one of the most effective ways to lessen the likelihood of developing dog ears.