I had breast implants (320 cc) two weeks ago. I am wearing micropore tapes over the incision sites but wonder how long I have to do this. I don't want to get it wrong by wearing tape for too long, or not long enough !! Thank you in advance ...
Tape over Incision Sites?
Doctor Answers 8
Incision site tape
Tape over incisions
I use Steri-strips on my incisions to help reinforce the skin edges and help make a finer scar. I usually don't like to leave them in place for longer than a week because they will start to get cruddy (Sorry - medical term) and I worry about the possible development of bacterial infections under the tape. Still, your doctor probably has his/her own protocol for this so I would ask him/her how long to leave them in place.
Taping wounds after cosmetic surgery
Thank you for your kind question.
As you have heard, every surgeon has their own protocol and you should check with your own surgeon for their preferred regime. However, I am a firm believer in taping after surgery (using brown micropore tape) for at least 3 weeks as it helps give support. Thereafter, massage is the best method to soften and settle scars. A light moisturiser such as Vitamin E cream can be very beneficial. I do not like using oil in the early stages as it doesn't absorb and it is important to hydrate scars in their early period of maturation.
As an aside silicone gel sheeting should probably only be used in cases of adverse scarring [there is excellent medical literature on this] and the supporting medical literature for use of silicone gel products in a tube is quite weak. More recently, some companies are promoting the benefits of topical hyaluronic acid preparations but further trials are required to assess this.
Hope this helps
Paul Banwell, Plastic Surgeon, UK
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Surgical tape over incision sites
Many surgeons keep surgical tape over incisions for up to several weeks after surgery, as pressure has been demonstrated to be the most effective method for improving scar appearance. I typically have patients maintain surgical tape over augmentation incisions for up to three weeks. However, each surgeon is different, so I would recommend contacting yours to find out his/her specific recommendations.
How Long to Wear Scar Tapes
The only material that has really been shown to help the appearance of scars is silicone. This can be found in tape form or as a liquid that is painted on the scars.
I recommend that patients use these materials for at least six weeks but it's better for the first 3 months. Most patients get tired of using them after this period. Scars take at least a year and sometimes two to fully mature. So there's no real harming in using them for a longer period of time.
Tape over incisions
I don't really use tape and have never been concerned about the quality of the scar at their 2 month post-op photo visit. I do use steri-strips in a traditional manner to minimize tension across the wound for up to 3 weeks but I don't place tape across the whole wound as 'tapers' require of you.
Post-op incision routines
Every surgeon is slightly different in their post-op routines. I keep the incisions taped for 2 weeks, and then, if everything looks good, remove the tapes, and have the patient start on scar massage and use of a silicone-based scar product.
Speak with your surgeon about his/her post-op preferences.
How long to keep surgical tape over incision sites
Every surgeon has their own protocol for postoperative dressings. I would call your plastic surgeons office to find out if you should keep the tape on, or if it is okay to remove. Anything we say on RealSelf may contradict your surgeon instructions. Best wishes.