Massage or silicone tape? (photo)

Hello, I am 2 weeks and 2 days post op fleur de lis and arm lift and couldn't be happier with my early results. I just had my 2 week appt today with my Surgeon and he instructed me to start massaging my incisions 3xs a day. I told him I bought some silicone tape and he said it was ok for me to use after my scabs are off. I wish I asked which is better massage or silicone tape? The tape products I bought are expensive and I believe stay on for multiple days... Making massage impossible right?

Doctor Answers 4

Additional info About Incision and Scar Repair

It may take several months for a tummy tuck 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.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Tape, tape, tape, tape

Thank you for your question and photographs. Very happy that you are pleased with your result. There is no evidence that massaging your scar will do anything to improve your scar. There is, however, good evidence that taping can make a difference.  You can use the silicone tape that you have purchased but, as you say, it is expensive. My recommendation is the tape found in most pharmacies in the bandage section. Some are paper, some are cloth, others are plastic; it makes no difference which one you use. Put the tape over the scars and leave it as long as it sticks. Don't take it off every day as this causes irritation to the skin. If you have a problem with the tape or the adhesive, then I recommend using the silicone tape or sheeting.  I typically don't recommend the silicone first because of the cost. It is best to tape for 3-4 months. Good luck. 

James McMahan, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Silicone Strips for Scars

It is wonderful that you are happy with your results.   It is a significant change for you!  I would agree that you can start using the silicone tape once all of your scabs are off and your incisions are healed.   Otherwise, you might be ripping open the incisions when you take off the tape.   So, you can gently massage the parts of your incisions that are healed until all of the scabs are off.  The silicone tape is definitely a better scar treatment than massage.  So use the tape once you are all healed.  

Best Wishes!

Cecilia Franco-Webb, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Scar Management

Do both! Use your silicone sheets and massage as you can tolerated. The silicone is more effective than scar massage in my practice. Best wishes.

Erica Anderson, MD
Reston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 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.