Minor Surgery

Stitches

The type of suture (stitch) and the surgical technique used, will ensure the best possible scar. There are two types of suture material, absorbable and non-absorbable. Absorbable sutures are also known as dissolvable; I use absorbable sutures beneath the skin, but less often on the surface. Absorbable sutures may take longer to dissolve than is ideal, and result in a less satisfactory scar than non-absorbable sutures that are removed.

Invisible stitching technique

I often use subcuticular suturing, an 'invisible' stitching technique. The stitch is placed just below the skin along the edges of the wound, there is no stitch visible on the surface of the skin. This technique has the advantage that there is no marking of the skin by stitches on the surface. Subcuticular suturing is particularly useful on the face and cosmetically sensitive areas. Steristrips (adhesive paper strips) are applied to the wound to provide some extra support; these should be kept dry.

Diagram of invisible stitching technique

Removal of sutures

Sutures are removed at about 7 days on the face, and 10-14 days elsewhere on the body. Sutures are removed by myself or my dressings nurse at the clinic.

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