How Long Until Plastic Surgery Stitches Dissolve?

I had upper eyelid surgery 8 days ago, and the doctor used dissolvable stitches. How long does it normally take for stitches to dissolve? Is there anything I can do to make them dissolve faster?

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Dissolving Sutures And Blepharoplasty

If your surgeon used a fast absorbing gut suture, it should dissolve within 7-10 days. In many cases the body digests the suture material under the skin before the visible portion of the suture thread actually falls off. Therefore, you may still see some suture material on the skin at 10 days or so. Keeping the incisions moisturized with ointment (preferably an eye antibiotic ointment) will help speed this process up. One of the worst things you can do is to allow the incision to scab or dry out. This can lead to worsening scar formation and slow the recovery considerably.

San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Disolvable suture will most likely stay for 30-60 days

most disolvable sutures remain for 30-60 days. if they are placed externally, they can be removed one week after surgery.

S. Sean Younai, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Blepharoplasty dissolving sutures.

It depends on what you had done, the suture that the surgeon used, and where he/she put it.  Dissolvable sutures can range in their time to finally go away, (i.e.; rapid absorbing cat gut, vs. monocryl).  Most will take out external sutures before 7 to 10 days to avoid extra scarring.  Usually it is not a good idea to "make" them dissolve faster.  They are most likely there for a reason.  If you have questions, please call your surgeon.  They usually have a reason for selection of type of suture and placement.  Ask what the plan is, and then please stick to it...

Jeffrey Roth, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Dissolving Stitches for Eyelid Surgery

We have different stitches that dissolve at different times: some will dissolve in 3-5 days, others can take weeks or months!

The dissolving stitches on the surface that you can see will generally dissolve between 3-7 days.

The stitches "dissolve" as a result of your body's reaction to the stitch material. Soaking them in water, for example, won't make them "dissolve" any faster.

Because your surgeon does want them in for a particular time period, check with him/her before doing something to remove them on your own.

If the stitches are hanging around too long, go into your surgeon's office to have them removed.

Paul C. Zwiebel, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Dissolving sutures in blepharoplasty

Depending on the suture, dissolving sutures may take anywhere from 5 days to 14 days to dissolve.  Warm soaks and topical ointments may speed this process.  To achieve the best scar appearance, non dissolving sutures should be run just under the skin from one end of the incision to the other.  The suture ends are taped in place and after 3-5 days the suture is easily removed by sliding it out in the office.  This leaves no "track" marks on the skin which external sutures can and since the suture is non dissolving there is no reaction from your body to the stitch and hence a better scar appearance.

Dissolving sutures and eyelid surgery

Usually when dissolvable sutures are used in eyelid surgery they dissolve within 7-10 days.  If they do not dissolve you should return to your surgeon to have them removed.

David Freilich, MD
Englewood Oculoplastic Surgeon

Soaking and pulling away can remove dissolvable blepharoplasty sutures


Be sure to ask your doctor before trying this.

I use gut or chromic sutures when I want a dissolvable suture during blepharoplasty.

Gut dissolves in 4-5 days but Chromic can hang around for 10 to 14 days.

I normally remove non-absorbable sutures at 3-5 days, so you should not need eyelid sutures after 6-7 days normally.

Usually, chromic sutures and some gut sutures dry out and are not really holding the skin together at 6 days. In fact, leaving the suture in longer than 6-7 days can increase scarring.

Often, if the Chromic sutures are dry at 6-7 days, I just gently pull them away with a forceps or tweezer and they fall off easily.

Soaking can help loosen them.

I do not recommend that you do this yourself. Call your doctor's office. I am sure his nurse or assistant can do this for you.

Blepharoplasty sutures

It depends on what type of suture was used.  I use fast-absorbing gut suture, which, if I left it in place, would dissolve away in only a few weeks.  Most surgeons, like myself, remove the sutures after 7-10 days.  Placing eyelid-appropriate antibiotic ointment on the incision line can make the sutures dissolve faster. 

Clyde Mathison, MD
Knoxville Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

How long does it take for stitches to dissolve after eyelid surgery?

Great question - the answer is that it depends!

On average though, if your surgeon used plain gut sutures, it will take about 10-30 days. It is a wide range, because everyone dissolves at different speeds. At your post-op appointment, make sure to ask your doctor about the stitches. I often remove the stitches if they are bothering my patients, but leave them alone if they are falling out on their own. 

Dan Landmann, MD
Ridgewood Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

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.