"Plastic" around scars

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Just a minor question in the scheme of things really...

Had a partial nephrectomy 4 weeks ago - c 5 "entry" points! - and while there are dissolvable stitches, there is a also a type of plastic coating on the wounds. Should I just leave that to disappear naturally (via a shower) or gently peel off??


  • Hi Michael1793

    Thanks for getting in touch.

    My name is Paula and I am one of the Cancer Information Nurse Specialists on the Macmillan Support Line.

    I can see you have joined the kidney cancer forum. I hope you’re finding it helpful to share your experiences with others.

    I hope your recovering well after your partial nephrectomy. It can take a few weeks for most people to recover and return to their normal activities again after surgery. Remember not to push yourself too hard and take the time you need to recover.

    No question is minor, every question is important to us here at Macmillan.

    It’s difficult to say for certain what the plastic coating is on your wounds. There is a few techniques the team can use to close wounds. They include dissolvable stitches which you currently have. Surgical adhesive glue which is used to bring the edges of the wound together and protects and acts as a cover for the wound, or they can use steri-strips and an adhesive film dressing. All methods can be used together or separately to help the wounds to heal.

    It may be worth contacting your team as soon as you can, to ask them what the plastic coating is on your wound. It could be surgical adhesive, if it is it’s important not to pick or peel the plastic coating off until you speak to your team. As this may cause trauma to the affected area, delay wound healing, and cause an infection.

    You may find this NHS information leaflet helpful to look at.


    Paula-Cancer Information Nurse Specialist