Dyson Medical | 2222 N. Craycroft Rd, Ste#150, Tucson, AZ 85712

Our walk in hours are
Monday – Friday, 8:00am – 11:00am and 1:00pm – 4:00pm

(520) 202-3488

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We take same day appointments

Suture Removal

When non-absorbable stiches are required to close a wound during surgery or after an accident, they will need to be removed by a doctor. Most children feel very anxious about having their sutures removed. They may remember the pain of the injury and trauma of the suturing process, which heightens their anxiety for the removal of sutures. So, while suture removal is a straightforward process, Dr. Dyson approaches the removal with extreme care and sensitivity.

Call us if…

In most cases, your child’s wound will heal quickly and normally. In rare cases, however, there may be complications that require immediate attention. If you observe any of the following issues before or after suture removal, please call our Tucson office immediately:

  • The wound looks infected (e.g. redness around the wound, skin feels warm to the touch, puss is oozing out of the wound)
  • Your child has a fever
  • The sutures come out early (on their own or child has pulled them out)
  • You think something isn’t right or have any concerns about your child’s well being.

Timing of suture removal

Sutures are used to keep a wound closed during the healing process, which prevents infection and helps to ensure a good cosmetic outcome. They are typically removed within 4 to 14 days of placement, with the timing based on the location of the stitches. Once Dr. Dyson has set a date for suture removal, it is very important that you keep your appointment. When sutures remain in the skin longer than necessary, permanent scarring can occur.

The table below provides a general outline of when sutures should be removed:

Location on body When to remove
Face 4 – 5 days
Neck 7 days
Head or scalp 7 – 10 days
Chest, abdomen, and back 7 – 10 days
Arms and tops of hands 7 days
Legs and tops of feet 10 days
Fingers and palms of hands 12 – 14 days
Toes and soles of feet 12 – 14 days
Joints (e.g. elbows, knees) 14 days

Removing the sutures

Dr. Dyson is highly experienced in pediatric suture removal. He is very gentle and takes the time to explain the process to the child in order to keep them calm and ensure a pain-free process. First, he cleans the wound with an antiseptic. Then he uses small forceps to loosen each individual suture before cutting it and gently pulling the suture from the skin. Children may feel a slight tug as the suture is removed, but the process is generally painless.

After the stitches are removed

The wound will continue to heal after the sutures are removed, so it’s important that you follow all of Dr. Dyson’s instructions to ensure a good outcome. These may include:

  • Do not let your child pick at the scab – it should be allowed to fall off on its own. Picking at the scab can cause scarring.
  • Avoid sports or activities that could cause injury to the wound for 3 – 4 weeks.
  • If sports activities cannot be avoided, protect the wound with tape or bandages for at least one month after suture removal.

If you have any concerns after the sutures are removed or notice any signs of infection, please contact our Tucson office immediately.