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Silicone Strips for Tummy Tuck Scar?

I am 2 weeks post op from a full tummy tuck. My scar is a bit raised on my right side and i would like to know if silicon strips will help in smoothing it out?

Doctor Answers (15)

Scar management and puckering after tummy tuck

+4

You have puckering of your skin over the lateral aspect of your abdomen which occurs when removing generous skin redundancy. Think of your skin like its cloth, if you were to pinch the cloth it would pucker on the sides. The puckering will subside within 3 to 6 months of surgery and this will improve scarring. In addition, silicone sheeting and more recently silicone cream has been useful for preventing hypertrophic scars. You may initiate scar management by 2 to 4 weeks once your incision lines have healed.


Laguna Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Tummy Tuck - Silicone Strips for Tummy Tuck Scar?

+3

It's probably fine but at this early stage you should not do anything without clearing it with your own plastic surgeon.  At two weeks, many of my patients still have steri-strips on so the issue of silicone or other strips does not even come up.  And there seems to be little downside to them, aside from some potential irritation (which can be caused by almost anything).  Whether or not it clearly produces a better scar is somewhat debatable but using them now - with your PS's permission - may be perfectly reasonable.

I hope that this helps, and good luck,

Dr. E

 

Alan M. Engler, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 155 reviews

Silicone gel sheeting and scarring from a tummy tuck

+3

At only 2 weeks postoperatively, there will still be a considerable amount of swelling including contour irregularities which can take 6 months to a year to maximally improve. Silicone gel sheeting can help with the ultimate scar (not the generalized swelling) but needs to be worn for 12 - 18 hours a day for several months.

I usually start my patients on this around 3 - 4 weeks after surgery. The silicone gel sheeting has been quite effective for many patients. 

You may want to discuss its usage with your plastic surgeon.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

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Silicone strips for the tummy tuck scar

+2

Silicone sheeting or strips are a well known treatment for improving scars, especially hypertrophic or raised over healed scars. In order for the strips to be effective, they must be applied after the incision is dry and healed, about three to four weeks, and be worn continuously held in place lightly with paper hypoallergenic tape.  Patients find the silicone hard to keep up with and prefer scar creams and massage. The wrinkles you have are due to tissue mismatch, and over time may smooth out. No role for silicone strips here.

Best of luck,

peterejohnsonmd

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Silicone sheeting for scars

+2

The irregularity you see is the pleating effect from a mismatch between lengths, and thickness, of the two sides of the scar. Because the length is greater in the upper skin edges, a pleating or gathering of the edges is required to match up with the shorted lower skn edge. This geenrally imprves over time but the end result is variable and you will need to wait 6-12 months. Silicone sheeting is not meant specifically for this situation but can be helpful in reducing thr edema and applying more even pressure to this area. I prefer a thicker sheeting to the thin sheet you find in your drug stores.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Silicone Strips for Scar Reduction

+2

There is a lot of individual variation among patients with the quality of their scar formation.  I do think that silicone strips, sheets, and even gels are the best means of reducing scars and accelerating scar maturation.  The only down-side is the cost.

John Whitt, MD
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Silicone strips after tummy tuck

+2

The skin folds you have will get somewhat better over time and silicone gel sheets may help. Ask your surgeons if a GelZone Wrap with silicone gel on the inside would be a good choice for you. (It has worked well for some of my patients)

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Silicone sttips for abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) scar

+2

The research suggests that this is one of the best options and it certainly has very little risk but it does require effort for compliance. I have not been tremendously impressed with the results in my practice but it is worth the effort to try everything you can to minimize the scar. Avoid sun exposure and watch for skin maceration or fungal infections.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Scar care after tummy tuck

+1
Thank you for your post. In tummy tuck and other lift/tightening surgeries, tension is the enemy. The scar is healing gradually over 12 weeks or so, and until it is strong, it is the weakest link. As there is a great deal of tension in tummy tucks, body lifts, breast lifts, etc., the scar is at high risk of 'stretching' or widening. Silicone sheeting, although having the ability to make a scar flat, does nothing to prevent stretching of the scar. Creams or steroids or lasers also do not have the ability to prevent stretching of the scar. Those are used if scar is thick or dark, but not to reduce the wideness of the scar, which is the main problem. Massage also does not help keep the scar thin, and can actually worsen the scar in the first 12 weeks because you are actually adding tension to the scar. Massage is for softening a hard or thick scar, but if used early, will hasten the scar widening. Only tension reduction has the ability to keep the scar as thin as possible. You may notice in a lot of tummy tuck scars that the center portion of the scar is the widest with the sides toward the hips being the thinnest. This is because the maximum tension is at the center, and least amount on the sides. Embrace removes a lot of the tension by putting more tension on the skin on either side of the incision and drawing the incision together. It is expensive though at about $100 per week for 12 weeks. When patients do not want to spend the money for embrace, I tape the incision trying to remove as much tension as possible for 12 weeks and recommend no stretching back and to sit most of the time, keeping tension off the scar.
Best wishes,
Pablo Prichard, MD

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Minimizing scarring after tummy tuck

+1
Once the Steri-Strips have fallen off you can start using the silicone sheets. Generally scars take over a year to fully mature. With proper healing they become faint silvery lines. The most important thing to do is to cover up your scars when going out. Sun exposure can make scars worse.

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 70 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.