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Date of last update: 8/19/2017.

Forum Name: Surgery Topics

Question: Surgical scar/incision problems

 chucke - Wed Jul 28, 2004 9:51 pm

I had hernia operations in 1978 and 1980. In 1988 I had an operation to remove scar tissue and sutures that did not dissolve. The area is from my right belt line to the lower abdomen. I have had intermittent irritation along the incision scar over the past few years. Last year the area was checked for hernias and was viewed with ultrasound. It was explained to me that particles were probably worked loose and that my body was attacking this to rid itself of the material. Since the swelling went down and the irritation was minimal, I opted to not have an operation. Recently I have started to bike after 4 years of no biking. I have lifted weights and used eliptical trainers without problems over the past 5 years.
The irritated area has been purple and occasionally bleeds. I have been concerned because it has not healed in a month. Today, I removed what appears to be a suture form this area. It is about 1/4'' in length and half of it is a loop. There is a knot in it as well. This does not appear to be normal. I am not experiencing any pain and do not have a fever. There is no puss when the site was bleeding. There was dark red blood around this "suture". I have an appointment to see my PCP. Any and all information you can pass along to me will be greatly appreciated. Thank You.
 Dr. Yasser Mokhtar - Mon Aug 09, 2004 5:15 pm

User avatar Dear Chucke,

Sutures are used to approximate tissues together for better healing.

Once the tissues heal, sutures can be removed. Sometimes wound healing is delaye and sutures need to remain till they do.

i am not a surgeon but i think that the muscles are usually sutured with non-absorbable sutures and the tissues under the skin are sutured with absorbable suture material (body has ability to absorb it) and the skin one or the other but usually with non-absorbable material.

Sometimes, non-absorbable sutures in the muscle can find their way to the subcutaneous tissue and can irritate the skin and the subcutaneous tissues. Sometimes, the irritation continues till either the sutures are removed by the doctor or the body succeeds in expulsion of the suture material.

You were right, the thing that you removed was indeed a suture and if in fact you still have some of those sutures left, your body might try to get rid of them with resultant inflammation till they are removed one way or the other.

So, it is a good idea to see your doctor for him to decide whether you need all the other remaining sutures removed or not.

Thank you very much for using our website and i hope that this information helped.

Yasser Mokhtar, M.D.

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