Is 11 days too long to wait for suture removal on the upper and lower eyelid surgery?

I have read dr comments that 5 days is long enough for suture removal.

Doctor Answers 11

Eyelid Surgery - Correct Number Of Days To Remove Sutures

Your RealSelf team of expert plastic surgeons all agree each surgeon has his or her own protocol for suture removal.  

That being said, if you have a choice, I would recommend you have them removed earlier.  In my practice, all eyelid sutures are out in 3 days.  It has been my experience, due to the rapid healing in eyelid tissue, epithelized tunnels are created when sutures are left in too long.  These tunnels must be surgically removed and eye makeup and other debris can fill these tunnels appearing like microscopic blackheads. 

Lid sutures

in my practice are removed between 3 and 5 days, primarily to avoid the development of small whitehead (milia) or scars from the sutures themselves.  But its done at the risk of the wound separating but it has never been a problem for me.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Three days is a little too early.

Four to 6 days is more common.  However, if your surgeon used a laser to make your blepharoplasty incision, the sutures need to be left in place for a longer period of time.  Generally this time frame is at least 10 days but longer may be necessary.  The reason for this is that the laser thermally injures the skin adjacent to the wound.  The laser injured skin does not knit together as fast as scalpel cut skin.  This is the principle reason that I do not recommend laser surgery.  People assume that anything done with a laser is great but it is not true.  This thermal skin injury means that the sutures must be left in place much longer than is ideal and this can increase the prominence of the scars from eyelid surgery.  On the other hand, if a laser was not used to make the incision, then your surgeon really has no excuse.  That does not mean that you will be harmed by this but it is better to get the sutures out at the earliest feasible date.  Too early and the wound will separate and that is not good either.

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Los Angeles Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

It depends on surgical technique

If the skin is cut with radiofrequency or blade, sutures can come out earlier. But if a CO2 laser is used, although there is less bruising and swelling in the early period, the skin edges have been heated, and can take a bit longer to heal. Laser incision sutures can be removed at 10-12 days without any problem. The eyelid skin is so thin that suture tunnels do not occur. I have never seen suture tunnels in eyelids in 23 years of oculoplastic surgery.

Jeffrey Schiller, MD
Staten Island Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Eyelid suture removal

I remove blepharoplasty sutures between 3-5 days postoperatively.  I agree that every surgeon has his own protocol but 11 days is excessive and poses risks in terms of scarring.

Robert L. Kraft, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

11 days should not be too long for the sutures to stay in.

Most of the non-dissolvable sutures that are used in a blepharoplasty are very non-inflammatory.  So if they stay in for 11 days you should have no problem.  Most surgeons try to take out the sutures once the wound is healed enough that it will stay closed after removal. If the surgery was done with a CO2 laser, the sutures are usually kept in an extra day or two.  Or if you have a lot of edema, your surgeon may want to keep them in a little longer than usual.  I think that  most surgeons remove the sutures anywhere from 6-10 days post-op.   

John J. Martin, Jr., MD
Coral Gables Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Eyelid suture removal

Most surgeons use permanent sutures which are typically removed between four and seven days after eyelid surgery. 

Sheldon S. Kabaker, MD
Oakland Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Sutures remaining after blepharoplasty

11 days seems excessive for sutures to remain after blepharoplasty The usual time for removal is 5 to 6 days . Leaving them longer means they become more embedded and excessive scarring could result. Your surgeon should arrange to have sutures removed before 11 days.


I agree totally with Dr Somia's comments.  When sutures should be removed is a function if the technique used and without an exam I would be guessing

Dr Corbin

Frederic H. Corbin, MD
Brea Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

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