How long should I wait to remove the incision tape around my areolas and the vertical cut for a breast lift?

I had breast augmentation and a lift 2 weeks ago. My doctor will be on vacation for a month, so I won't be able to see him until September. The tape over my incisions for my cut under my breasts has come off and the incisions look great. When can I remove the tape around my aerolas and the vertical cut? They don't show any signs of peeling up. Should I wait until it starts to peel or is 2 weeks long enough?

Doctor Answers 10

When should steri-strips be removed?

I'm pretty sure your surgeon did not tell you "I'm going to be on vacation for a month so there is no follow-up for you." Plus, there are plenty more patients in various stages of recovery who will need sutures removed, steri-strips replaced, concerns addressed, and questions answered.

Every surgeon has a slightly different protocol, and each of us thinks our way is preferable for one or many reasons. Call your surgeon's office and ask his staff or partner or covering plastic surgical colleague what is their recommendation, but do NOT remove these on your own. If there is a concern, then ask your surgeon's staff, partner, or covering plastic surgeon to see you and address these concerns.

In the absence of a problem or concern with these strips that are staying in place, it is best to leave them until they fall off on their own, or you may inadvertently disrupt an otherwise perfectly-healing wound and CAUSE a problem! I know you are curious, but resist the urge. Please call your surgeon's office. Best wishes! Dr. Tholen


Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 240 reviews

How long should I wait to remove the incision tape?

I place the tape on my patient's incisions and instruct them to let them fall off on their own.  Sometimes this can take upto 3 weeks or more.  There is no harm in having them on as long as the skin is not irritated.  I'm sure your physician's office may have staff that can confirm their protocol.  Check in with them.  Good Luck.

David J. Wages, MD
Peabody Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

How long should I wait to remove the incision tape around my areolas and the vertical cut for a breast lift?

Hello dear, thanks for your question and provided information as well..
The breasts may lose their elasticity and firmness which can be caused by different factors such as pregnancy, massive weight loss, lactation and aging. To reaffirm the breasts and restore the natural look your surgeon can perform a mastopexy or breast lift. A breast lift restores a firmer, perkier, and more aesthetically pleasing shape to sagging breasts. This not only can improve a patient’s appearance by restoring her youthful, feminine proportions, but also help bras and swimsuits fit more comfortably and attractively. By removing excess, stretched out skin, reshaping the breast tissue, and raising the nipple & areola into a more forward position, a cosmetic surgeon can create a more youthful breast contour. Stretched, large areolae can also be reduced during breast lift surgery, creating an overall better proportioned, natural looking breast…

Tania Medina de Garcia, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 361 reviews

Post op care

Thank you for your question.  As each surgeon is different and has their own unique set of post op instructions, this is a question you may wish to disucss with your surgeon or his medical staff.  Typically, the tape will fall off on it's own, but often times at the one week follow up appointment or nurses will remove the steri strips from the incision after assessing how well healed the incision is.


Best regards,
Dr. Lane F. Smith, MD
Plastic Surgeon
Las Vegas, NV

Lane Smith, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 84 reviews

Tape on incision following breast lift

Thank you for your question.  You should contact your surgeon's office.  I'm sure his nursing staff will be familiar with his routine regarding removing tape from your areolas.

Best of luck,

Tape Removal in 2 Weeks

Paper tape used for closure of the skin usually can be removed at two weeks. I ask my patients to use paper tape for an extra 6 weeks, changing the tapes every week or so. The scars end up looking much flatter and acceptable as a result.
The effect of paper tape on surgical scars has been published.

Ahmet R. Karaca, MD
Birmingham Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

How long should I wait to remove the tape?

I generally like to leave the stress strips on for as long as possible as it has been my experience that the scars are better if the streris are left on longer.  However, you could check with your plastic surgeon's office.  Even though he's on vacation, I'm sure there will be someone who is familiar with his practice style that could answer your question.  Best of luck with your continued recovery!

Jeffrey A. Sweat, MD
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Steri-strips coming off

Thanks for your inquiry.  I understand your plastic surgeon may gone, but his/her office should be available to take your call and answer your question because each doctor has a slightly different protocol.  In my practice we keep the steri-strips on up to 3 weeks and change them when they become loose.  I wish you a speedy recovery.  

How long should I wait to remove the incision tape around my areolas and the vertical cut for a breast lift?

I recommend that my patients start getting the tapes wet in the shower at the 2 week point. The tape does not have to be remove exactly at 2 weeks, but you can start working the tape off at the 2 week point. If it is not coming off with ease you can just trim the edges as they begin to come off.

Michael E. Ciaravino, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 115 reviews

Wait till they start to peel

Let them peel and separate themselves.  There is no reason to rush.  Call your own doctor's covering surgeon for any other issues. 

Vasdev Rai, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 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.