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Forum Name: Surgery Topics

Question: Facial stiches; care and self removal


 aerohr - Tue May 26, 2009 2:18 pm

Hi all,

First, thanks in advance for your assistance.

I received stitches (3 on the bridge of my nose, 1 on the side of my nose and 2 on my upper cheek, beneath my eye) on Sunday evening of this week. Admittedly, I had just gotten back from a beer fest and in my less than stable walking state managed to trip and fall onto an umbrella stand around a pool deck. I don't recall a whole lot of the information shared with me by the ER doc, not as a result of mental trauma unless alcohol consumption qualifies.

Anyway, I have removed my own sutures before and plan to do it again instead of drive the 100 miles back to the hospital. The question I have is when should the stitches be removed? I remember something about 7 days, but much of the reading I have found has suggested that for the purposes of reducing facial scarring, 3-5 days is more appropriate. The wounds overall are pretty superficial with the nose being the only wound that I felt really needed stitches - the doctor had apparently first agreed since he only applied novacaine to the nose and did the other stitches as an after thought without any numbing (that may have been to get revenge for my obnoxious drunken antics, looking back though...)

So, from a scarring perspective - is there any danger to leaving the sutures in for seven days, or should I remove them sooner?

Many thanks from a normally responsible, but in the rare instance not so much guy.

Andrew
 Dr Sunil Joseph - Mon Jun 22, 2009 12:25 pm

Hi Andrew,

Sorry to hear of your accident. certainly sutures that are left too long may contribute to an unsatifactory cosmetic result. the face has an excellent blood supply and healing is rapid so sutures should not be required for a long period and about 5 days should suffice. It may be slightly earlier or later that sutures are removed so I think 7 days will not really worsen your scar. there are other factors contributing to suture scar result such as size of suture, the placement and tension and how good an approximation of skin edges was achieved. I think anything more than 7-8 days and the risk of scarring from the suture tracks go up.
hope this helps

all the best
sunil

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