What are Fat Necrosis & Dog Ears?
The information in this section is made available through the generous support of Dr. Grant Stevens .
What is Fat Necrosis?
Fat necrosis occurs when fat cells in a particular area die and clump together after surgery. This might appear as a lump in your breast the size of a grape or a golf ball, for example, though many are much smaller. The lump is typically very hard and dense, and it is sometimes confused with other lumps that are part of the normal healing process.
Because of the release of a chemical during this process, there is sometimes a fever associated with fat necrosis. The skin over this area will also have decreased blood supply and therefore will be more pale than the surrounding skin, even if it's at the nipple.
Often fat necrosis breaks down on its own and is carried away over time by your body. You can help your body by providing adequate hydration, good nutrition and by using our Lemon Tea. Lymphatic support (fluids) and professional lymphatic massage can help.
Some plastic surgeons will have you massage the area itself to help break it down, but all have different approaches. Massage can be painful, making massage difficult. Sometimes it takes surgical intervention to resolve it. Either way, there are lots of things that can be done, and it doesn't mean the ruination of your breasts.
Check with your plastic surgeon if you have anything like this so you can have it checked out. Your plastic surgeon will decide what is the best way to handle the situation.
What are Dog Ears?
Dog ears are extra fat and skin at the ends of your breasts, near your armpits, in the case of anchor method breast reductions, and they are located at the base of the breast and chest wall in the case of vertical, lollipop and Lejeur methods. Depending on how 'meaty' you are in the side/armpit area when having the anchor method, you could develop this minor complication. They were somehow dubbed 'dog ears' for the way the skin pokes out - where it should be flat.
Many plastic surgeons do liposuction in this area to prevent the development of dog ears. Should you develop this minor complication, it is correctable. Please discuss your options with your plastic surgeon.
In the case of vertical method dog ears at the base of the breasts, this is very common and has nothing to do with your size or shape. It has to do with draping skin around a conical shape. It's a lot like sewing with material, where sometimes a small pleat is needed either during surgery, or after down the line. Most good surgeons will discuss this with you and will take care of it in a simple procedure later if the body doesn't aborb it and smooth itself out.