How to Remove Surgical Tape After a C-Section

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After a C-Section, the incision will be closed and held into place with surgical tape. This tape is intended for use on the skin and features an strong sticky adhesive side. After your C-Section, you may be tempted to remove the surgical tape on your own. However, it is important to closely follow your doctor's orders regarding the removal of your surgical tape.

Things You'll Need

  • Warm water
  • Soap
  • Scissors
  • Baby oil
  • Do not try to remove surgical tape from your C-Section incision while you are still healing. It is important to leave this tape in place until the incision has healed completely. Your doctor should tell you how long to leave the surgical tape in place. Do not pick or peel at the tape before then. In fact, many doctors will recommend that you not actively remove the surgical tape yourself. Instead, allow the tape to fall off on its own, which usually happens within two weeks.

  • Soak the surgical tape in warm, soapy water once or twice daily to encourage easy removal. You can do this by sitting in a warm bath or taking a warm shower. The soap and water will interact with the surgical tape, making its adhesive less sticky. As the surgical tape becomes less sticky, it will slowly begin to peel away from your skin. Allow this to happen and do not actively pull at the strip.

  • Cut off any hanging pieces. Once the surgical strip begins to peel off, you may find yourself with a long strip of surgical tape hanging from your midsection. Use a pair of scissors to carefully cut this hanging piece off.

  • Gently pull away the remaining surgical strip once the majority of it has peeled off on its own. To make this easier, peel the surgical tape away while soaking in the shower or bath. Pull with a slow, steady motion. If the surgical tape is still securely adhered to the skin in one section, do not attempt to remove it with a vigorous pull. If you remove the tape too soon, it could harm the skin underneath or affect the proper healing of your incision.

  • Massage baby oil into the surgical tape if it remains stuck in place for longer than four to six weeks, depending on your doctor's orders. The oil should help to make the surgical tape less sticky. If your doctor has given you permission to remove the surgical tape on your own, slowly peel the tape away after applying the baby oil. Continue applying oil as necessary until the surgical tape is completely removed.

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