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All TopicsForum: Surgery - Before, During, and After → Topic: No steri-strips after lumpectomy?

Topic: No steri-strips after lumpectomy?

Forum: Surgery - Before, During, and After — Surgical options and helpful tips for recovery and side effects.

Posted on: Oct 18, 2009 09:37PM

Luah wrote:

Okay, I removed the outer gauze bandage last night, 48 hours post-op, as instructed.  Was rather shocked to discover no steri-strips! The incision is neat and not open or weeping, but I'm afriad that I may open it up by accident. I had notified them of a skin sensitivity to some adhesives - perhaps this is why they didn't use them? Has anyone else encountered this?  Did your incision hold together okay? Did you take any special precautions? My sil, who's a nurse, said not to worry and the telehealth nurse said just to watch for seepage... bit I'm kinda concerned this isn't usual.

I am going to call BS office tomorrow - but in the meantime, would appeciate if anyone can help out... Thanks!

We've been through some things together/With trunks of memories still to come/Long may you run (Neil Young). Lx, ALND, 4 DD AC &12 weekly Taxol, 31 rads, completed Jul 10 Dx 9/14/2009, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/14 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Oct 18, 2009 10:26PM NancyD wrote:

I had a bad reaction to the steristrips when they did my biopsy, so I was very careful to inform everyone as I went through other invaisive procedures during my treatment. They actually used surgical glue when I had my port placed, when I had my mastectomies, and when I had my port removed.

I'm not a complete idiot. Some parts are missing. Dx 2/22/2008, IDC, Left, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 4/10 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 3/22/2008 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 7/11/2008 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right Hormonal Therapy 9/1/2008 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 9/5/2008 Breast, Lymph nodes Surgery 1/28/2010 Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap
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Oct 18, 2009 10:43PM Bless wrote:

Thanks Nancy for posting that.  I had blisters from both the tape and the steri-strips during all 3 of my biopsies.  I'm scheduled for a lumpectomy out of state on Nov 3 and have been concerned.  It's really nice to know that it can be done without the tape.  Thanks for sharing!  I'm going to add that concern to my Monday morning fax to CA.

Luah,

I hope it turns out ok for you.  It may have been a blessing not to have the steri-strips.  The worst part of my biopsies were the large blisters that I got from the tapes.  They prevented me from being able to wear a bra for over a week each time.

Bless~ Dx 11/3/2009, ILC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+
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Oct 18, 2009 11:32PM - edited Oct 19, 2009 12:29AM by otter

Luah, you might call your surgeon's office to find out for sure what they did, but my bet is on NancyD's explanation.

You shouldn't need to worry about the incision opening up, because it was almost certainly closed with "buried" (subcuticular) stitches.  It's routine nowdays for surgeons to use absorbable suture material, and a suture (stitching) pattern that sort of folds the stitches down underneath the skin as the skin edges are pulled together.  (It's awfully hard to describe it in words, but it is really cool to see it done ... or to do it!)

Anyway, typically the surgeon will close the incision in muliple layers. The deeper tissues will be closed with stitches that are truly "buried", and the skin will be closed with the subcuticular stitches.  Then, the steri-strips will be placed across the incision line to hold the skin edges tightly together.  That's how my mastectomy/SNB incision was closed.  The steri-strips help the skin edges to re-connect, resulting in a narrow, perfectly smooth scar line.

For a smaller incision, though, the steri-strips might not be necessary.  That would be true even for a larger (longer) incision if the surgeon closes those skin edges with surgical "glue".  I've never had glue used on me, but it's pretty common.

BTW:  Surgeons will omit the steri-strips if the patient is likely to react to them or ... um, ... chew them off.  Veterinarians frequently use subcuticular sutures to close "spay" incisions in dogs and cats, but they don't put steri-srips over the incisions because the pets will quickly remove them.  Things usually work out fine even without the steri-strips.  :)

otter

[Edited to direct the reply to Luah, who asked the original question.] 

Dx 2008, IDC, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Oct 18, 2009 11:33PM molly52 wrote:

Hi Luah,

There should be stitches under the skin that will dissolve over time.  It would be good to check with your BS to ensure it was intentional rather than accidental.

I hope you are recovering well.

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Oct 18, 2009 11:50PM AnnNYC wrote:

Luah, hope your questions were answered, and you are recovering well.

Just had to smile about getting the veterinary perspective from Otter! Smile

Dx 3/9/2007, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Oct 18, 2009 11:52PM Bless wrote:

I hadn't considered chewing off my steri-strips, but I might try that next time Laughing
Bless~ Dx 11/3/2009, ILC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+
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Oct 18, 2009 11:56PM Luah wrote:

Thanks all. Feeling a little less anxious now - just wish they had told me!  I'm sure it's so routine for them, but not for a woman removing bandages for the first time and freaking! 

NancyD: I think in fact they may have used surgical glue over the incision - the scar line is quite dark in colour - deepish red/blackish.  I've been searching internet images, and it seems to fit!

Thanks otter for your reasssurance - you're a great source of information!   

Molly52 - so nice to hear from my fellow Toronotonian!  I am going to check in with BS tomorrow. 

We've been through some things together/With trunks of memories still to come/Long may you run (Neil Young). Lx, ALND, 4 DD AC &12 weekly Taxol, 31 rads, completed Jul 10 Dx 9/14/2009, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/14 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Oct 19, 2009 02:56AM NancyD wrote:

Yep, Luah, after reading otter's description, that's what was done for my mastectomies..the interior stitches were disolvable, and the outer fold of skin was glued. Makes for a very nice, fine lined scar. No railroad tracks from stitches.

And no need for steristrips.

I'm not a complete idiot. Some parts are missing. Dx 2/22/2008, IDC, Left, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 4/10 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 3/22/2008 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 7/11/2008 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right Hormonal Therapy 9/1/2008 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 9/5/2008 Breast, Lymph nodes Surgery 1/28/2010 Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap

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