F2M/N Top Surgery & Dog Ears

F2M Top Surgery (normally referred to as FTM Top Surgery) refers to a trans masculine individual wanting to have their chest reconstructed into a flatter more neutral/masculine looking chest. No matter who your FTM/N top surgeon is, there are many factors that affect your surgical result, some of those factors could lead to the possibility of developing dog ears. If you look through FTM/N chest photos (especially before and after’s photos of revisions) you’ll notice a trend of dog ears. So, what are dog ears? The following content will give you a breakdown of everything you’ll need to know

What is a Dog Ear?

After a Double Incision Bilateral Mastectomy procedure, a dog ear is the result of protruding residual tissue at the outermost portion of the incision near the armpit. In less common cases, it can happen at the innermost portion of the incision near the center of the chest. It is one of the most common reasons for revision after F2M/N top surgery. When a dog ear occurs, a revision will usually fix the issue. In order for a revision to take place a conversation between you and your FTM/N top surgery doctor will necessary. For a visual explanation of a dog ear, watch this video on Dog Ears that Dr. Mosser created.

How to Prevent Dog Ears After a Double Incision Bilateral Mastectomy

Dog ears are not completely avoidable. For some patients, not all of the excess skin can be removed in the first surgery, and dog ears are almost a certainty. For patients with less skin to be removed, the chances of dog ears are lower. Ways to considerably minimize the chances of having dog ears include:

  • Weight: Staying close to your ideal body weight. However, that is not to say if you are a bigger patient that you are going to develop dog ears
  • Incision Type: Being willing to have a slightly longer incision, which extends further towards the back
  • Anatomic challenges A person’s inherent symmetry of their chest contour
  • Patient Compliance: It’s very important to follow your top surgery surgeon’s post-op care instructions

How a Dog Ear is Treated

If dog ears occur, they can be very effectively treated. This entails a secondary procedure (revision) to remove them. This can usually be performed under local anesthesia, but that is your FTM/N top surgeon’s choice. If the dog ears are around 5 inches or more, some sedation might be required. After this revision, the contour of the incision is typically close to perfect. The easiest way to see the treatment is by watching this video on Dog Ears that Dr. Mosser has created.

Dog Ears in Conclusion

  • Be aware that if you get a Double Incision Bilateral Mastectomy procedure dog ears could be a risk
  • Be sure to talk to a FTM/N top surgery doctor who is able to effectively describe what a dog ear is and what they will do to minimize the likelihood of this occurring based on your type
  • Accept that a revision could be a part of your future, but also keep in mind this isn’t an absolute. If you follow your FTM/N top surgery surgeon’s post-op instructions this could lessen the likelihood of developing a dog ear
  • Be sure to watch this animated video that explains dog ears in detail