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?
Silicone Strips for Tummy Tuck Scar?
Doctor Answers (15)
Scar management and puckering after tummy tuck
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.
Silicone gel sheeting and scarring from a tummy tuck
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.
Tummy Tuck - Silicone Strips for Tummy Tuck Scar?
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,
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Silicone strips for the tummy tuck scar
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,
Silicone sheeting for scars
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.
Silicone Strips for Scar Reduction
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.
Silicone strips after tummy tuck
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)
Silicone sttips for abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) scar
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.
Scar care after tummy tuck
Pablo Prichard, MD