How Soon After Surgery Can I Start Scar Treatment?

I'm 17 days post op from. TT and BA. I Want to start using silicone sheeting I'm my.TT scar. How soon can I start? I did not have steri strips. My PS used stitches. I'm not doing anything with the scar except cleaning and putting ointment on it.

Doctor Answers 31

How Soon After Surgery Can I Start Scar Treatment?

I rarely recommend scar treatments to my patients.

There is little or no evidence that they work.

The various silicone products may slightly speed up scar maturation but I don't believe they are worth the time or expense in most cases.

They serve mainly to give people something to do while Mother Nature goes about her work. She takes at least a year and, depending on the skin type, two years or more to produce the final scar result.

The only exceptions would be in those patients who have a history of abnormal scarring, or in those where the scars are still thicker or redder than they should be for that stage of healing. In these cases modalities such as silicone sheeting or laser may be appropriate.

Tummy tuck scar treatment options

all wounds go through several stages of healing. There is no benefit of apply any "scar treatments" until after scars start to contract which is about 4 weeks. until then it is best to keep the skin well hydrated and moisterized.

S. Sean Younai, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Timing of silicone sheet after surgery

Thank you for your question. Breast incisions can be managed using a multimodal approach:
1) Scar massage - starting as soon as the surgical dressings come off and the incisions are sealed
2) Silicone sheets or scar gels for about six months to year as soon as the surgical tape/glue is off.
3) Embrace - a tension reducing dressing for the first 2 months
4) Fractionated lasers to help blend the scar into the background - done as a series, starting about 4 weeks after surgery and repeated every four weeks for six months.
5) Sunscreen to prevent the scars from darkening

The main role for silicone sheets is to keep the incisions hydrated during the remodelling phase of the scar maturation. This allows the underlying cells to work in a more optimized fashion. The brand is less important but compliance usually follows ease of use. Silicone usually has less skin irritation concerns with use compared to adhesives. They can also be re-used.

Scar Treatment after Surgery

I recommend to my patients to begin using some kind of scar treatment within 2 weeks after surgery. Some patients use silicone sheeting because this treatment has been shown to decrease keloids or raised scars. Scar creams such as Biocorneum and Mederma have also been shown to decrease the color and help to lighten the scar quicker than doing nothing.

Stanley Castor, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 92 reviews

How Soon After Surgery Can I Start Scar Treatment?

As soon as your wound is no longer having any drainage you may start using topical scar creams as well as silastic sheeting. Watch out for any signs of skin maceration that may be caused by excess moisture under the silastic. Good luck!

Mark Preston, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Scar improvement

Hello! Thank you for the question! It is common for scars to fully mature for up to a year. In the meantime, there are a few things that may help to ameliorate your incision/scar. The most proven (as well as cheapest) modality is simple scar massage. Applying pressure and massaging the well-healed scar has been shown to improve the appearance as it breaks up the scar tissue, hopefully producing the finest scar as possible. Other things that have been shown to add some benefit, albeit controversial, are silicone sheets, hydration, and topical steroids. These can usually be started at approximately 3-4 weeks postop and when incisions healed. In addition, avoidance of direct sunlight to the incision will significantly help the appearance as they tend to discolor with UV light during the healing process. Scars will never disappear, but attempt is made to make the finest scar in a concealed location.

If unsightly scars are still present after approximately a year's time, other things that your surgeon may consider are intralesional steroid injections, laser, or just surgical revision of the scar itself.

Hope that this helps! Best wishes!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Scar care after tummy tuck

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 38 reviews

Timing of scar treatment after TT.

If I have a concern that a patient of mine may get an active, raised scar after TT or Breast augmentation, I will start using silicone sheeting early, at about 5-7 days, after surgery.  The wound only needs to be closed for the sheeting to be placed on.  There is little downside to this besides some minor skin irritation from increased moisture beneath the sheeting.

Silicone Sheeting usage following Tummy Tuck

Thank you for this great question! I provide Silicone Sheeting to all of my patients following a tummy tuck procedure with instructions to set this product aside until I inform them on how and when to start using this treatment. We are all naturally eager to start treating the scar immediately although it is imperative that the treatment is not too soon in order to assure the highest quality result is achieved. Realistically I typically do not have my patients start using this type of scar treatment until all of the glue is off and the incisions are completely closed; typically around 5-6 weeks post-operative. I suggest following up with your Board Certified Plastic Surgeon for treatment implimentation and directions as he/she may vary with their practice. I hope that you have found this information helpful and I wish you luck! 

Patrick Viscardi, MD
South Bend Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

When to start treating your scar

This is a very common question following any type of cosmetic procedure, especially a tummy tuck. I will typically ask my patients to refrain from utilizing any type scar treatment until the incision is fully closed and all of the glue is off. I always follow up with my patients multiple times during their post-operative journey in order to insure my patients are comfortable and  post-surgical scar treatment is not started too early or too late. There are many options available for  treatment of the scar tissue; from the reusable, self-adhesive silicone sheeting which is able to be used at home to more package based treatments like the ones I offer in my Comprehensive Laser Suite. Every patient is different and with this every scar is different. It is important to understand that every scar is permanent although we do have treatment options to help minimize their appearance. I am always careful to discuss that it can take anywhere from 12-18 months for a scar to fully mature and during this time it is very important to protect the new scar tissue from UV damage as this can cause the scar to permanently darken. I would suggest following up with your Board Certified Plastic Surgeon on when it is appropriate for you to start treating the scar tissue. I hope you have found this information helpful and I wish you luck! 

Ronald Downs, MD, FACS
South Bend Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 7 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.