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Suture Care (cont.)


When to Call the Doctor for Suture Care

If a wound is deep, more than about ¼ inch long, does not stop oozing blood, is in a sensitive or cosmetically important area (eye region, lips, or genitals for example), call the doctor or consider going to an emergency or urgent care facility. All wounds and sutured areas may scar. If you have serious cosmetic concerns, you may need to consult a plastic surgeon for special suturing methods to reduce scarring.

After sutures are placed, examine the wound with the suture daily during bandage changes. Look for signs or symptoms of infection:

  • Increased pain
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Fever
  • Drainage of pus or pus-like material
  • Red streaking from the wound
  • Separation of the wound

If you develop any of these symptoms, you should contact your doctor immediately for further evaluation. Your doctor will likely start you on antibiotics and may ask you to make an office visit.

  • You should also see your doctor for continued bleeding, removal of sutures, and if the doctor who placed the sutures recommends that your wound be checked (usually two days after placement of sutures).
  • Call your doctor if your sutures fall out before your scheduled time for suture removal because your wound may open up, potentially causing a larger scar.

When to Go to the Hospital for Suture Care

If you develop any of the signs or symptoms of infection or have any of the other reasons to visit your doctor and your doctor cannot see you promptly (meaning that same day), you should go to the hospital's emergency department for examination and further treatment. Any deep long wound is likely to need suturing and additional care. Do not try to treat such wounds at home.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/18/2016
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