I have read many of you recommend Silicone Sheets (they need be applied less often correct?) and Or Paper Tape... For the Tummy Tuck scars and Breast Lift scars. I have not gotten mine done yet but would like to have the needed supplies on had for when I do have it done in January of 2012. So with all of the companies telling us their product is best. What do you say?
Which over the Counter Silicone Sheeting and or Paper Tape Do You Recommend for TT and Breast Lift Scars?
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Doctor Answers 18
Postoperative scar treatments
Although many plastic surgeons recommend the use of silicone sheeting there really is no good evidence that it is superior to paper tape. I did a small study of my own patients who had undergone a tummy tuck. I had patients cover one half of their scars with paper tape and the other half with silicone without telling me what they had used on ether side........ I was unable to find any difference between the two sides.
Begin using after 3 months.
The use of silicone sheets, steri-strips, and tape are all popular methods for treating postoperative scars. These materials are typically applied to the wounds three weeks after surgery. This allows adequate time for small areas of breakdown to heal and wound edges to seal.Treatment lasts for variable periods of time, but in most cases the duration is about three months.
These maneuvers are associated with excellent clinical results and high levels of patient satisfaction.At this point in time, it’s reasonable to use silicone sheets, paper tape, and steri-strips as long as all your wounds are completely sealed.
Which ovr the Counter Silicone Sheeting &/or Paper Tape Do You Recommend for TT & Breast Lift Scars?
I have to agree with the others..Many of my patients use Biodermis silicone strips ordered on-line but they can get rashy (a word??) so I advise only half-day use and they are expensive. So for simplicity, I am going more and more now to brown 3M paper tape left on 2 weeks and then changed weekly by the patient, as Dr. Kyllo recommends.
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Silicone sheet or tape for scar treatment after lift
Post operative scar size and thickness, as well as color, (in the absence of disease) may be affected by:
- Tension on the closure: avoidable in the breast, less controllable in the tummy tuck
- Skin type.
- Motion: stretch along the incision line will affect the scar formation negatively
- Gravity: scars that are under tension due to weight will tend to widen and thicken
Prolonged skin taping (one month at least) followed by scar reduction protocol including Silicone patches can improve your chances of having less visible incisions.
Silicone sheet vs paper tape
1) Scar massage - starting as soon as the surgical dressings come off and the incisions are sealed
2) Silicone sheets or scar gels for about six months to year
3) Embrace - a tension reducing dressing for the first 2 months
4) Fractionated lasers to help blend the scar into the background - done as a series, starting about 4 weeks after surgery and repeated every four weeks for six months.
5) Sunscreen to prevent the scars from darkening
The main role for silicone sheets is to keep the incisions hydrated during the remodelling phase of the scar maturation. This allows the underlying cells to work in a more optimized fashion. The brand is less important but compliance usually follows ease of use. Silicone usually has less skin irritation concerns with use compared to adhesives. They can also be re-used.
Paper Tape for Tummy Tuck and Breast Lift Scars
Great Question. The answer is YES! Silicone sheets are useful but a bit difficult to use as they often do not stay on well and can create a reaction. Personally I am a BIG fan of paper tape. There are many surgical tapes that are sold in drug stores, however, it is very important to purchase PAPER tape to avoid the burden of skin reactions from the adhesive of regular tape. I dispense a special surgical paper tape to my patients and do not allow them to use anything other than the tape I give them. Some patients can still have a reaction to paper tape, therefore it’s important to discontinue the tape and apply an ointment, such as aquaphor if that happens. Consult with your doctor and follow their instructions. I hope this has helped.
Scar treatment: Use what works best for you
The most important consideration concerning the quality of your scars is choosing the right surgeon. A surgeon who is meticulous in their markings before surgery and in their incision closure tend to get the best scar results. It is much better to have all buried sutures so that their are no stitch marks in the skin and no sutures have to be removed after surgery.
After surgery, leave the tapes on your incisions as long as possible. Once they start to come off, use whatever you find easy to apply and doesn't cause irritation to your skin. Forget about vitamin E or other proprietary gels or ointments, the just don't work. Covering your scars for several months with tape or silicone sheeting is best. I generally recommend Nexcare tape because it is cheaper than silicone sheeting, it comes in an easy dispenser and they have four different types to chose from. Use whichever works best for you but be religious about it. If you get thick scars despite your best efforts, see your surgeon who may prescribe a steroid-impregnated tape or perform small steroid injections.
Silicone or Tape For Breast Scars
While the usefulness of silicone sheets or other similar products to improve breast scars remains questionable, there is little real evidence that they provide any significant advantage over simple paper tape. Considering the cost alone, I would recommend paper tape over any of the products available for scar improvement. At a recent national plastic surgery meeting this topic was reviewed and the verdict was these silicone products are not likely worth the cost.
Topical Silicone treatment
I have tried many different products in my office over the years. Currently, I recommend Hybrisil. My patients prefer it compared to other scar products because it is easy to use, does not have an unpleasant smell and is extremely effective. Hybrisil contains a mid-potency coritcosteroid that helps to minimize the inflammatory and itchy symptoms of the scars as well as shrinks and reduces redness. Hybrisil is a prescription product that you should ask your surgeon about before your procedure.
Best of luck,
Not all paitents or scars need to be treated with silicone sheeting or any other prophylactic measure. However, this is something to be discussed with your surgeon. There really is no best product but each surgeonwill have a philosophy of how and when to treat potentially hypertrophic scars. Having said that, if I do treat scars with silicone sheeting, I like ones that have a reinforced backing, a self-adhering side, and a degree of thickness to it so that some pressure can be applied. I use the Medical Z products but there is no proof it is necessarily better than any others.
Robin T. W. Yuan, M.D.
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.