Frequently Asked Questions on Suture Removers

Suture Removers
What is a Suture Remover?
Suture removal is a procedure to take sutures out of your skin. Sutures are used to close a wound. Suture remover helps prevent scarring and tissue damage.
What are the types of Sutures?
Absorbable sutures:
• Gut sutures: Used to close tissue that requires minimal support and heals rapidly, such as that of the oral cavity mucosal layer, or procedures of superficial blood vessels

• Vicryl sutures: Best for the lower layers of skin, and approximating muscle or fatty tissue

• Maxon and monocryl sutures: Used for sub-cuticular stitches and soft tissue approximation

• PDS: Used for stitches of muscle and fascia tissue

Non-absorbable sutures:
• Prolene sutures: Used in tissue of fascia, muscle or blood vessels

• Nylon sutures: Used for closure of skin, surgical incisions or drainage tubes

• Silk sutures: Typically used to tie off blood vessels or bowel segments
When do I need to have my sutures removed?
Sutures are usually removed in 7 to 10 days. Sutures on your face need to be removed in 3 to 5 days. Sutures on your scalp need to be removed in 7 to 14 days. Sutures over joints may need to stay in place for 14 days because joints move and bend frequently.
How are sutures removed?
Your caregiver will clean off any dried blood or loose tissue. He will use sterile forceps to pick up the knot of each suture. He will cut the suture with scissors and pull the suture out. You may feel a slight tug as the suture comes out. Your caregiver may remove some or all of your sutures. He may place small strips of medical tape across your wound after the sutures have been removed. This tape will peel and fall of on its own. Do not pull it off.
Who is suture removal recommended for?
It is important for sutures to be removed in a timely manner to prevent scarring and inflammation. Sutures removed too early or too late can lead to scarring, infection, re-opening, delayed healing, and other complications.
Your healthcare provider will give you specific instructions based on your individual wound. Generally, sutures should typically be left in for the following amounts of time:
• Face: 3-4 days
• Neck: 5 days
• Scalp: 6-7 days
• Arms and back of hands: 7 days
• Chest and abdomen: 7-10 days
• Legs and top of feet: 10 days
• Back: 10-12 days
• Palms of hands and soles of feet: 14 days
What are the signs of infection in suture?
• swelling
• increased redness around the wound
• pus or bleeding from the wound
• the wound feeling warm
• an unpleasant smell from the wound
• increasing pain
• a high temperature (fever)
What are the precautions to be considered for Sutures?
Regardless of the closure technique being used, the following precautions must be considered to avoid wound breakdown, and to achieve a well-healed incision with minimal scarring:
• Ensure skin incision is located along the intrinsic tension lines for minimal scarring
• Maintain good blood supply to the wound
• Avoid over-tightening the sutures to reduce the tension and prevent any wound breakdown or unwanted scars
• Eversion (alignment) of skin edges for best healing with minimal scarring
• Usage of Steri-Strips, Band-Aids, and skin adhesive materials to strengthen incision during and after suture removal