Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
The wound is cleaned with an antiseptic to remove encrusted blood and loosened scar tissue.
Sterile forceps (tongs or pincers) are used to pick up the knot of each suture, and then the surgical scissors or a small knife blade is used to cut the suture. Forceps are used again to remove the loosened suture and pull the thread from the skin.
These relatively painless steps are continued until the sutures have all been removed. You may feel a tug or slight pull as a stitch is removed.
The wound is cleansed again.
Adhesive strips are often placed over the wound to allow the wound to continue strengthening.
Staple removal is also a simple procedure and is similar to suture removal. Doctors use a special instrument called a staple remover.
After cleansing the wound, the doctor will gently back out each staple with the remover. The doctor applies pressure to the handle, which bends the staple, causing it to straighten the ends of the staple so that it can easily be removed from the skin. The staple backs out of the skin the very same direction in which it was placed.
People may feel a pinch or slight pull.
The process is repeated until all staples are removed. The wound is cleansed a second time, and adhesive strips are applied. This is also a relatively painless procedure.