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October 1990

Hello Tricone; Good-bye "Dog-Ear"

Author Affiliations

USA

USA

USA Dermatology Service Department of Medicine Walter Reed Army Medical Center Washington, DC 20307-5001

Arch Dermatol. 1990;126(10):1366. doi:10.1001/archderm.1990.01670340118022
Abstract

To the Editor.—  The term "dog-ear" refers to the fold of tissue protruding above the surface of the skin at the ends or sides of wounds after undermining or partial closure. Unfortunately, this undesirable term has become deeply embedded within the surgical literature. It is not particularly descriptive (given the variability of dogs' ears), not innately helpful in conceptualizing the excess tissue it defines, and is a slang term. The latter drawback is particularly annoying when it is discussed in front of patients, as happens frequently in training situations. Its usage often results in a compulsion to define it to the patient immediately, or risk misconception by the patient.In his excellent description of complex closures, Bennett1 alludes to this term's undesirability, and even suggests refraining from using it in front of patients. Following this advice would necessitate a second term, and he has suggested "pucker" as alternative terminology. Why

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