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Removing Stitches (cont.)

Removing Stitches Preparation

If a person has received stitches, they should be given instructions for taking care of the stitches and wound, and be given an approximate date to have the stitches removed. A sample of such instructions is as follows:

  • Keep wound clean and dry for the first 24 hours.
  • Bathing is allowed after 48 hours.
  • Bandages can safely be removed from the wound after 48 hours, unless the wound continues to bleed or has a discharge. If bandages are kept in place and get wet, the wet bandage should be replaced with a clean dry bandage.
  • An antibiotic ointment (brand names are Polysporin or Neosporin, for example) should be used after the wound is cleaned.
  • Notify the doctor if a suture becomes loosened or breaks.
  • When scheduled to have the stitches removed, be sure to make an appointment with a person qualified to remove the stitches.

Different parts of the body require suture removal at varying times. Common periods of time for removal are are as follows, but times vary according to the health care professionals that perform the procedure:

  • Face:  3-5 days
  • Scalp: 7-10 days
  • Trunk: 7-10 days
  • Arms and legs: 10-14 days
  • Joints: 14 days

Sutures may be taken out all at one visit, or sometimes, they may be taken out over a period of days if the wound requires it.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/10/2014
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