Observation of Dog-Ear Regression by Anatomical Location

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Abstract

BACKGROUND

When an excision is performed by a method other than elliptical excision, direct primary wound closure can result in standing cones or “dog-ears.” In 2008, Lee and colleagues noted that dog-ears of <8 mm in height have a statistically greater tendency to resolve without further surgical correction than larger dog-ears.

OBJECTIVE

To stratify dog-ears by anatomic location and inform on the need for correction at the time of surgery.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

After tumor extirpation, patients were counseled that primary closure of the surgical wound would result in dog-ears at the wound apices. Dog-ears were left uncorrected in participating patients. At 6 months, patients were assessed for resolution of the dog-ears and asked to rate the appearance of the scar.

RESULTS

A total of 140 dog-ears were observed in the study period. Anatomical locations included the hand/foot, trunk, limb, and head/neck. Among these dog-ears, 114/140 (81%) showed complete resolution. Patient satisfaction with the scar appearance correlated well with the dog-ear resolution, with most patients rating the appearance of the scar as good to excellent.

CONCLUSION

This study suggests that dog-ears on the hand and dog-ears ≤4 mm on the trunk may be observed without any final cosmetic penalty.

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