Suture & Staple Removal


After your wound is sutured or stapled, focus on the wound care. Apply an antibiotic ointment to minimize dressing adherence, and either cover the wound with a sterile dressing (eg, leg, arm, and trunk wounds) or leave it open to the air (eg, scalp wounds). You may remove the dressing and gently clean the wound in 24 to 48 hours. The patient may then continue wound care until the staples are removed as follows:

Apply antibiotic ointment daily to the wound.

Apply a dressing to the wound, unless it was originally left open.

Do not soak the wound (eg, swimming, bathing), although showering is acceptable

When to remove sutures or staples? 

●Face – 5 to 7 days 

Scalp – 7 to 14 days

Trunk and upper extremities – 7 to 10 days

Lower extremities – 10 to 14 days

During removal of the sutures or staples, you might feel a pinching sensation.

COMPLICATIONS — Infrequently, some complications can happen. 

Scarring – Sutures or staples might leave temporary or permanent scarring in some patients.

Difficult removal –Some times sutures or staples can be buried under the skin and make it difficult for removal. Dr.Paul gives you a local anesthetic if your suture or staple removal becomes difficult.

Wound dehiscence – Wound dehiscence may occur if hemostasis is not ensured prior to staple placement or if the wound is not apposed completely during closure [13].