The procedure for removing sutures is simple and relatively painless, according to eMedicineHealth. The patient may feel a slight tug or pinch as the stitches are being removed.
The first step is cleansing of the wound with an antiseptic to help remove any encrusted blood or loosened scar tissue, explains eMedicineHealth. Forceps are used to assist in lifting the knot of each suture. The health professional then uses surgical scissors or a small knife to clip the sutures. Once the suture is cut, the forceps are used to loosen the suture and pull it from the skin. The wound is cleansed again after all sutures are removed. To allow the wound to continue to heal, adhesive strips may be placed over the site. Removal of the adhesive strips takes place after approximately five days.
Caring for the wound after suture removal is as important as caring for the wound with sutures since skin takes time to heal and regain tensile strength, notes eMedicineHealth. After suture removal, take care to protect the wound from damage or reinjury over the course of the next month. Use sunscreen to protect the delicate skin from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Once the skin completely heals together and closes, vitamin E may be used topically to assist the healing process.