How Soon Can I Use Paper Tape on an Abdominal Incision?

Hi, I'm going to be having laparoscopic surgery to remove an ovarian cyst. One of the incisions is going to be on my stomach parallel to my navel. I'm worried about scarring and was wondering how soon can I put paper tape over the incision to minimize the appearance of a scar? And how soon can I start massaging scar cream on the incision? Thank you.

Doctor Answers 10

Paper tape on the incision.

It would be best if you spoke with your surgeon regarding how he or she will handle your incision.  In my own practice I tend to avoid tapes and adhesives  because in some patients they can lead to blistering and changes in the pigment of the skin.

In my own practice I generally dissuade people from using lotions and potions until a week or two after surgery until the superficial part of the wound has healed completely.  Checked in with your surgeon about how here she handles these incisions.


Good luck

Washington DC Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 105 reviews

How Soon Can I Use Paper Tape on an Abdominal Incision?

This question is best addressed to your surgeon. You may find that a steristrip will be applied at surgery. Any external agents should be avoided until the incision is entirely closed--usually a week. Most incisions jheal nicely without intervention. 

Best wishes for your upcoming procedure. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Paper tape on incision

The short answer is it varies a lot depending on multiple factors. I often use paper tape (Steri-strips) for incisions and put it on in the operating room. But each surgeon has his or her own routine. So you should check with your surgeon and follow his or her recommendations. Good luck with your surgery.

Margaret Skiles, MD (retired)
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon
3.6 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

When can tape for scars be placed on incison

As long as your surgeon does not object, I think you can start as soon as 48 hours post-operatively.

Sacha Obaid, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 135 reviews

Abdominal incision scar and tape

Thank you for your question. Rather than using paper tape over your incision to minimize the appearance of a scar, we suggest using a silicone sheeting cream. We recommend BioCorneum. We use this regularly in our practice. We have found using it minimizes and softens the appearance of scars. If you have no dressings over your incisions, you can start using the cream as soon as your surgeon gives you the okay.

Stanley Okoro, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 161 reviews

Paper Tape To Improve Scarring

Although I think you can use paper tape to improve your scar immediately and I do that it is helpful, I would suggest using an over-the-counter scar reducing product which contains silicone.  The cost will be a bit more but I think that you will get a better result.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Paper Tape on an Abdominal Incision

    I do not recommend any scarring agents applied to the scars until a few weeks after surgery.  During that initial time the body is laying down scar.  Only later when the scar is remodeling do these agents potentially help.

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 496 reviews

Early wound care to decrease scarring

This is going to be a matter of personal choice and your unique skin type.  I generally apply steri-strips to an abdominal incision for the first week after surgery.  If the incision is healing well then it has been shown to be useful to keep the incision taped for the first 3 weeks.  This keeps some of the early tension off of the scar and helps with healing as long as the skin does not become irritated.  I avoid stretchy type tape that can blister the skin.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Paper tape

I usually have the patient wait until the incision is fully sealed and closed. This is usually at a week to two weeks.  There are other ways to manage I ions. Most do well with moisturizing, massage and avoiding sun or tanning booths.

David Nicholas Csikai, MD
Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Paper tape for incisional scarring

I don't know exactly what you mean by paper tape.  There is silicone sheeting which is used to reduce scar hypertrophy but it is premature to anticipate that you will have such a scar.  Laparoscopic surgery leaves very small incisions.  I encourage you to discuss the wound closure with your gynecologic surgeon and to share your concerns about scarring.

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 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.