View Full Version : Dissolving stitches--how long?

07-01-2007, 09:06 AM
I searched for this and found a lot of threads on sewing...

I had laparoscopic surgery almost three weeks ago. I had surgical tape on my lower two incisions and they're nearly healed. I had dissolving stitches in my belly button. The incision itself seems to be healed--I can stick my finger in there with no pain, and the scabbing has completely healed--but the stitches are still there. I can feel two threads sticking out.

I've done some googling and found lots of people's experiences with oral surgery, where the stitches seem to dissolve in 5-10 days. I've also found a group of rogue self-medicating people (on a VW forum, of all places) where several guys talk about cutting/removing their own stitches--not sure I'm up for that.

Any idea what I can expect here? I'm not due to go back to the dr (RE) until August, and I'd rather not make an appointment and drive a half hour each way if the stitches wil dissolve on their own, sooner or later.

07-03-2007, 11:23 AM
First, obviously, I would call my Dr. and ask their opinion on when they think the stitches should be gone. They may need to see you sooner than August if they feel like there is a problem.

Now, on removing the stitches yourself, it really isn't bad. I had emergency finger surgery several years ago while I was laid-off, therefore I didn't have insurance and couldn't afford to go to the Dr. for my follow-up visits. So, once my wounds were pretty much healed, I sat down with some clipplers and tweezers and pulled the stitches out myself. Didn't hurt at all...I promise. That said, if you can go to the Dr., go, it is much better but, if for some reason you can't and want the stitches out you can remove them yourself. Of course my DH about died when I told him what I had done! :p

07-03-2007, 12:52 PM
DS had dissolving stitches above his eye that had to be removed. They hadn't dissolved in 18 days so I called the doctor's office. The nurse removed them pretty easily, but she was very careful about using sterile equipment.

You probably don't want to mess with stitches yourself, you never know what could happen.

Could your GP remove them instead of going to your RE?

07-03-2007, 06:40 PM
Thanks! I will call the dr. :)

07-03-2007, 06:46 PM
I had the laparoscopic and got dissolving stitches. I noticed 2 little stitches at my belly button, just a little piece was sticking out, so I pinched it and just pulled it gently to see if it was just stuck or really still attached, it was just stuck to my skin, came right off. I mentioned it to the doctor at my follow-up and he said that's fine, it happens sometimes, me pulling it off caused no harm and he was actually quite pleased with how fast it all healed up.

07-03-2007, 07:00 PM
My C/S stitches were dissolvable. I felt part of them for about a month, IIRC. They did all dissolve by 7 weeks PP (which was my follow up).

07-04-2007, 06:50 AM
Thank you, jennylou and Ericka_Jarett! I'm back to wait and see, I think. I read online somewhere that dissolving stitches are mostly used internally, and the closer they are to the surface, the longer it takes for them to dissolve--and the ends might not ever dissolve, b/c they're not surrounded by skin. Realistically, it will be hard to get to the dr in the next week or so because we're out of town a lot. I'm not too worried...but I keep putting neosporin on every day, just in case (to prevent infection).

Thanks, everyone. I'll come back when I have a resolution, for the next person who deals with this. :)

07-04-2007, 07:16 AM
j*east - that was my problem, the ends had nothing to dissolve into, that is why I just pulled it off and it was fine.

07-04-2007, 03:16 PM
j*east - that was my problem, the ends had nothing to dissolve into, that is why I just pulled it off and it was fine.

Yeah, I have given them a little tug, but they're still not ready to come out. I am glad to hear yours turned out OK though.

07-04-2007, 03:22 PM
Just wait a few more days then, mine I did the little tug and it came right off, so I knew that it was ok. Sometimes they take a little longer than others.

07-13-2007, 03:28 AM
Update: I pulled one thread out (nearly four weeks post-lap) and the other seems to have disappeared. Everything has healed. Thanks all!