Bandaging/Dressing a Small Incision Near My Lower Neck?
April 27, 2021 6:39 PM   Subscribe

How do I bandage a small incision near where my neck meets my torso, above my left collarbone, to accommodate for neck movement? I acknowledge you aren't my doctor.

Today, I had a small incision near the seam of where my neck meets my torso, above my left collarbone. It is quite small. The procedure was fantastic but the tech applying the bandage was very grumpy, and I had a hard time following his instructions on how to apply.

I'm going to have to swap this out in 24 hours. Any links, videos, suggestions, or useful bandages I should buy? Google and Amazon proved really un-useful.
posted by metabaroque to Health & Fitness (9 answers total)
I just had a neck incision too, though mine was bigger and higher. In my case they just had me keep their bandages on (pressure bandage for 48 hours and steri strips for 7 days) but they told me what to do if I needed to redo it for some reason - plain Vaseline on plain gauze with medical paper tape to hold it on. Try not to move your neck too much.

I’d also suggest you try really hard to have your neck straight (from an up/down and from a side to side perspective) when you apply the bandage. Mine was put on while my neck was turned and while I’m sure they did their best to allow for movement, I was sort of stuck in an uncomfortable position for the first 48 hours. Hope your recovery is very fast!
posted by bananacabana at 6:57 PM on April 27, 2021

Why will not a Bandaid work? And, yes, speedy recovery.
posted by at at 7:07 PM on April 27, 2021

Something like this? Carry extras and antibiotic cream around with you. Reapply as needed.
posted by JimN2TAW at 8:00 PM on April 27, 2021

Full disclosure - I am not a doctor! But worked in public health in the middle of nowhere for a couple of years, and so have experience bandaging a lot of unexpected parts of people's bodies.

If I put my fingers on my own neck right above the collarbone, I feel that the strongest *pulls* (which will stretch your skin and cause bandage to peel off your skin) are
- directly up on your neck, toward your chin
- under the collarbone, where those muscles are probably continuing after passing under the collarbone
- middle of the neck, right above collarbone, where tendons are popping out when moving head side to side

The collarbone off to the left of center doesn't move a lot, and a point about an inch to the left of the central end of the collarbone moves a little bit, but not too much. I'd put down a pretty big pad of gauze and then make an X with wide paper tape (2"?) with the bottom anchors at these two points. As I'd smooth the tape up over the gauze and onto my neck, I'd give a little slack and run the tape longer than the bottom "legs" of the X, so that minor neck movements won't pull the tape off immediately. Then I'd "anchor" the bottom legs and top legs each with a horizontal stripe of paper tape, again putting it down with some slack.

I hope that, whatever approach you take, your neck heals up soon!
posted by rrrrrrrrrt at 9:33 PM on April 27, 2021 [1 favorite]

IANYD, rrrrrrrrrt said mostly what my first thoughts were, my mother was an ICU nurse, I was accident prone, I have been bandaged up in many ways. Gauze and skin tape along the skin that doesn't move much. Since you didn't mention stitches, I'd also recommend (IANYD) butterfly bandaging across the wound.

For an incision sort of thing you want (probably) a bit of the butterfly across them. butterfly bandage - Google Search. You can make them out of suitable tape, it's just a thin thing holding the sides of the incision together while letting plenty of air flow. Then there's the Gauze (and any ointment/topical medication), then you tape it down-in-place along the pattern of muscle movement so as to least disturb the sticky during movement. Bonus, throw a layer of an Ace(tm) elastic bandage aroung it. Just enough to keep it closed to minimize scaring and taped to not be annoying.

I still have a roll of that hospital tape that they use with a cotton ball or gauze pad instead of anything like a band-aid(tm) bandage like.

Go to the pharmacy, get that skin tape, make (a)some butterfly bits to hold the wound closed, get some gauze, apply medication as prescribed, tape that gauze down following lines of stretch .

My grandfather would take a cut like this and fix it with a bit of Scotch paper tape. Army medics and the like use SuperGlue (it' works that way if you want scars). In the absence of stitches, the butterfly, gauze, tape is how you take care of wounds in weird places that a band-aid just doesn't work. YMMV.
posted by zengargoyle at 10:12 PM on April 27, 2021

I'd use micropore tape or Tegaderm. Both will allow movement and stay on for several days. Tegaderm is transparent and you can keep it on for close to a week, so that might be the least visibly intrusive one.
posted by quince at 10:50 PM on April 27, 2021

I am fanatic for 3M's Medipore tape. Perforated for easy use. Water resistant, stretchy and sticky. A rare tape that I'm not (so far) allergic to. Worked so well for me for the front of my shoulder where my arm moves and no other tape would stick. It's specifically designed for hard-to-tape areas. Taping in an x-shape is helpful. Walgreens or something may have it locally too.
posted by Crystalinne at 10:56 PM on April 27, 2021

The 3M Nexcare bandages are amazing for sticking and stretching. They will stay stuck to the ball of your foot for a day or two. Make sure your skin is clean and dry, do not touch the sticky side of the bandage with your fingers.

If you need something bigger than the Nexcare offers, like quince suggests Tegaderm is great, and is the base material for the Nexcare bandages.
posted by gregr at 8:00 AM on April 28, 2021

Response by poster: Thank you, everybody. Appreciated.
posted by metabaroque at 12:51 PM on April 29, 2021

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