Wound suturing is a procedure performed to close the wound from an accident or surgical wound.
Purposes of wound suturing are to stop bleeding, reduce pain and infection, repair the cutaneous wound, minimize scarring, and maximize wound healing.
Preparing for procedure
- The wound will be assessed. If it is painful even before the assessment, anesthesia injection might be needed.
- The wound will be cleaned to reduce germs.
- The wound will be cleaned thoroughly.
- Topical anesthesia is administered around the wound.
- Start suturing. Needle size and type of surgical thread will be chosen as appropriate.
- The sutures will be covered with gauze and bandage.
- Bandage must be removed as recommended. In some cases, the doctor might apply bandages to prevent the sutures from infection depending upon the affected site or wound severity. The patient should ask when the recommended time is to remove the bandage.
- Wound cleaning and dressing must be strictly done as doctor’s advice.
- Always keep the sutures dry. Doctor would recommend that you always keep the sutures dry, which must be followed strictly. In some cases, patients are allowed to shower, but the wound must be covered and dry it with a towel right after shower to prevent from moist. If the wound is wet, remove the bandage, clean the wound and use a new bandage.
- Suture removal. Sutures might be removed after 5 days to 2 weeks after suturing depending on the healing and affected site. Sutures must be removed by a doctor only. Afterwards, skin tape or bandage might be applied for another 3-7 days before removing. In case that the suturing is under the surface of skin, absorbable sutures (also called dissolvable stitches) are used and there is no need for suture removal.
- The sutured area should be moved only when necessary. Too much movement could slow down the healing process or cause the sutures to pull apart. Please refrain from lifting objects, exercising, or doing activities that cause pressure to the wound during the first month after surgery. Please wait until the wound is completely healed.
- Always wash your hands before caring for the sutures. This is to prevent the wound from exposing to germs and reduce infection rates.
Risk, Complication or side effect after procedure
- Infection is frequently found. Observable signs of infection include:
- Fever higher than 38 degree Celsius.
- Swelling or reddening is unusually apparent.
- Oozing appears cloudy, brownish, greenish, or yellowish.
- Wound is getting more painful.
- Wound takes longer to heal, depending on the patient’s medical condition such as diabetes.
- Wound appears wider and deeper, dry, and becomes darker in color.
- Skin around the wound is bruised.
If you have any of the above signs, please see a doctor immediately to prevent infection-related complications.
- Scars might be developed in some cases and in different appearance depending on many factors including would shape, size, and depth, the amount of blood supplied to the wound, skin color, and patient’s skin thickness.