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AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:19 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Has anyone ever had an inner stitch works it's way out? Those are the disolving stitches. I had one work it's way out right on the edge of my inscision and it is red and starting to hurt. My PA (physicians assistant) said it can happen and just to keep an eye on it. I know when to worry, but I was wondering if it has happened to anyone else.

Thx for any input.



  • I had 3 do it and it was really annoying, it would get all red and then I'd see a white thing popping out, my doc said that is totally normal and just to leave it be or pull it out if it's really popping out i could pull it with tweezers. image
  • I haven't had my back surgery yet, but when I had plastic surgery to remove 12 lbs of skin from my abdomen after gastric bypass and losing 110 lbs....I had dissolving stitches and a couple of them didn't dissolve, but got red and poked thru the skin. I called the nurse and she said I could remove them. They were like just little end pieces, only 1/4 inch if that long and came out easily. Then, those places healed up better. I used peroxide quite a bit to help heal and dry things out after showers and stuff. Also, I used a hair dryer on my incision to help too.
  • It is not uncommon for internal stitches to work their way out, particular once they start to dissolve. The most commonly used internal stitch is Vicryl, and this phenomena is called "Vicryl spitting". The internal sutures that close skin are meant to provide strength for up to two weeks, depending on the size of the Vicryl used. The body dissolves Vicryl by chopping it up into little pieces first, at which point some people's own body starts to recognize that suture as being foreign, and tries to "spit" it out like a foreign body or splinter. It is often surrounded by pus that looks like a pimple (pustule), this pustule is usually not infectious (bacterial cultures are negative), but represent your bodies white blood cells - neutrophils in this case, fighting a "foreign body". Although it is OK to "trim" this suture sticking out, it is inadvisable to pull it just in case is still is holding something together. If there is redness beyond the pustule, i.e. along the wound, or alot of drainage, that warrants a call to the doc immediately. The fragments of absorbable suture take up to 60 days to dissolve. Keep in mind a wound infection (redness, drainage, soreness/tenderness/pain, separation of the wound) can result in the Vicryl being visible as well - so when in doubt, have the doc check it out! And keep in mind, sutured skin often only has 20% the strength of normal skin - so don't stretch or exercise incisions too much or else they can pop open!
  • Hi Candle:

    When did you have gastric bypass? I had mine in 1998 and went from 258 to 115 pounds. I also had plastic surgery afterwards to remove excess skin.

  • Thank you for the detailed response. My stitch worked it's way out the same day as surgery. Hopefully I can keep it from getting infected. The doc snipped it close to the skin, but theres still that little bit sticking out.

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