What's the benefit of placing the paper tape over suture site after removing steri strips after having a mommy makeover? (Photo)
Doctor Answers 4
Paper tape helps to support the scar and help with the final scar appearance. Here at plasticsurgeyoahu we have our patient use paper tape at least for 6 weeks after their surgery.
Benefit of paper tape on incision
Scar modulation or manipulation is very important after surgery. The tape is not placed to hold the incision together. Rather, it helps to decrease shearing forces and movement across the scar. Additionally, gentle pressure helps flatten and lighten the scar. Tapping should be done for a minimum of 3 months and as long as 6 months if possible.
Paper tape support of the scar
Paper tape helps to support the scar and will improve the quality of the final scar. The stimulus for scar tissue production is movement and paper tape helps reduce this movement locally at the scar, thus diminishing the amount of scar tissue formed. Paper tape should be used while the scar is active - red or raised - so for at least 6 months and maybe even longer if you can. It should be changed infrequently, i.e. only when necessary, to avoid damaging the underlying skin with repeated removal and reapplication of tape. I advise patients to use it for all scars from any procedure if possible.
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Paper Tape over Site of Removed Sutures
It may take several months for a patient’s scars to soften, for sensation to return, and for relaxing of the tight sensation in the abdomen. In the case of extensive surgery, abdominoplasty recovery can be uncomfortable and may take longer. Scars may stay red, become thick or widen. It can take 12-18 months for the scars to settle.
These can be improved with topical treatments such as BioCorneum, Scar Guard, Scar Fade and Mederma. Redness can be improved with laser treatments and the scars can be kept narrow with products such as Embrace. On occasion, keloids or hypertrophic scars can develop and will need treatment including Kenalog, 5FU and laser.
Since my usual treatments do not necessarily include the paper tape it would likely be best to visit your surgeon for a follow-up appointment if you are concerned at all about the healing of your incision. Good Luck.
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.