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Suture (Stitches) Post-Operative Care

You have had a surgical procedure that required sutures (stitches) to close the wound. These will remain in the skin for three to fourteen days, depending on their location and your surgeon's discretion.


  • If antibiotics are prescribed, take your full prescription as directed.
  • Discomfort is usually relieved with Tylenol. If a stronger medication is prescribed, follow directions carefully.
  • Do not drink alcohol when taking pain medications.
  • Swimming may be resumed after the sutures are removed.

Incision Care

  • Keep the wound and sutures dry for 24 hours, unless advised otherwise.
  • After 24 hours, wash the area daily with soap and water, unless instructed otherwise. Avoid soaking the area while sutures are in place.
  • Baths may be resumed after the sutures are removed.
  • Inspect incisions daily for signs of infection.
  • You may be directed to apply a dressing and medication to the wound. Be sure to ask any questions about your care so that you can perform these dressings at home.


  • Your surgeon will decide on the appropriate suture needed for your procedure. Generally, one of three kinds of sutures is used:
  • Interrupted - small knots are used to close the wound
  • Over and Over - continuous, loop-like stitches
  • Subcutaneous - a hidden stitch under the skin

When To Call

  • If you have increased swelling or bruising.
  • If swelling and redness persist after a few days.
  • If you have increased redness along the incision.
  • If you have severe or increased pain not relieved by medication.
  • If you have any side effects to medications; such as, rash, nausea, headache, vomiting.
  • If you have an oral temperature over 100.4 degrees.
  • If you have any yellowish or greenish drainage from the incisions or notice a foul odor.
  • If you have bleeding from the incisions that is difficult to control with light pressure.
  • If you have loss of feeling or motion.

For Medical Questions, Please Call:

  • (734) 998-6022, Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • After hours and on weekends, call Hospital Paging at (734) 936-6267 and ask for the Plastic Surgeon on call.