I had and eyelift and mid-face lift done 9 days ago and things seem to look good except my upper lids which still show redness and swelling where the 'dissolving' sutures are. What can I do about this? The Dr. does not seem to be concerned about it.
Sutures Not Dissolving on Upper Eyelids?
Doctor Answers (19)
Irritation from Dissolving Stitches
I would advise you to have your surgeon take another look as he/she may want to remove any remaining stitches: if there is redness, there may be too much skin irritation from the stitches.
Dissolving sutures after eyelift and facelift
I'm a Cosmetic Oculofacial (Speciaizing in Eyelid and Facelift Surgery) Plastic Surgeon practicing for 15 years with offices in Manhattan's Upper Eastside. If the dissolving stitches are 6-0 fast absorbing plain gut sutures, they should be well dissolved by 9 days after habing your eyelift and facelift. In my practice, I usually see my patients in 5-7 days to clear off any dissolving stitches which haven't completely dissolved.
Eyelid Sutures Should Not Be Forgotten
It is perfectly fine to use permanent sutures, such as Nylon, which are easily removed 4-5 days following surgery, or dissolving sutures, such as fast-absorbing gut, which usually dissolve in 5-6 days.
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Eyelid Sutures Should Not Be Left Alone
The eyelid sutures are causing an inflammatory reaction as your body "dissolves" them. An excessive reaction may lead to a less desirable scar. Even if they are dissolvable, they can be removed. Your doctor can evaluate your condition and easily remove them, if he thinks they need to come out.
9 days is a bit long for upper eyelid sutures
9 days is a bit long for upper eyelid sutures. You might want to touch base with your surgeon once again. If they look like fishing line, they might be nylon sutures that need to be removed. If they are brown/clear they might be absorbable fast absorbing gut that that should have dissolved by now.
Dissolving Sutures After Eyelid Surgery
Nine days is long for the eyelid sutures to be in place. I like to remove my eyelid sutures after 4 days as they are not necessary and can cause annoyance, delayed return to looking "healed", and possiby "dot" scars. Your doctor's nurse should be able to remove those sutures in less than a minute.
I would give it some time. The sutures will dissolve and the doctor can remove them in time if needed. A tincture of time is all that is needed here. 9 days is a very very short period after surgery.
Sutures after blepharoplasty
The dissolving sutures can sometimes irritate the skin sometimes. The solution is simple. Have your surgeon remove them.
Dissolving sutures causing redness
The upper eyelids are exquisitely sensitive. The skin around this area can be easily perturbed. Dissolving sutures have the following distinct disadvantages:
- More reactive to surrounding skin
- Unpredictable absorption pattern- may dissolve earlier or later than ideal. If sutures dissolve too late, can cause abnormal scarring such as track marks
- Limited in how small suture size- Due to the fragility of the material of dissolving sutures, they can not make a suture as small in diameter as a permanent suture.
Due to those factors, I do not use dissolving sutures in upper eyelid surgery. Permanent sutures, which are removed later, are a more predictable choice offering less irritation (some of these sutures are used in heart valve surgery), predictability, and allowing the use of extremely small size sutures.
Eyelid suture removal
Both dissolving and non dissolving sutures can cause irritation. I find that the dissolving sutures tend to cause more redness and swelling. If you are having redness and irritation at 9 days and the sutures are still in place your doctor may want to remove them. Usually sutures can be removed 5-7 days after upper eyelid surgery.
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.