Scarring Less Likely Using Absorbable Stiches?

Is stitching of the surgery preferred to be of self-absobing or removable? Which one has more risk to scar? I am male in mid-60's and thinking to have top and bottom eyelids done.

Doctor Answers 5

Choosing sutures and stitches for your surgery

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I can probably write a whole treatise on suture decision making, but to keep it short, high tension areas require permanent sutures vs. absorbable for low tension areas.  There are many exceptions!

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Sutures and Surgical Results

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Thank you for the question.

You will find that it is the surgical technique not the precise type of suture use that will determine the  outcome of your surgery.  Every surgeon may have his/her preference;  the most important decision you make is choosing the surgeon who you trust what do a nice job for you.

I hope this helps.

Choices of sutures: absorbable vs removable

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When you are discussing skin suturing, there are sutures you remove and those that dissolve. Each surgeon has their preference for what works well. If you are going to a real plastic surgeon, trust in the fact that whatever they choose, they have a reason and believe it is best for you and will leave the best scar.

Around the eyes in a 60 year-old man, the scars will be almost imperceptable whatever you do. So don't choose doctors based on stitching or price, choose based on the results of their's you have seen.

Scarring less likely using absorbable stiches?

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There is a role for permanent sutures (stitches) as there is a role for dissolving stitches.

Permanent stitches are placed by surgeons where we want to make sure there will never be any separation of widening of structures we bring together (For example, heart valves, the joining of blood vessels (such as bypasses), complex hernia repairs etc).

Dissolving sutures are placed when we want to buy enough time for a proper scar to form which can hold things together and we do not need the potential risk of a permanent foreign body (the stitch) to stay around. (Such as the joining of intestine, the vast majority of stitching and wound closures etc).

Eyelid skin heals VERY fast and NEVER needs permanent stitches. Surgeons close the eyelid incision either with a permanent stitch (prolene) that it pulled out as early as 3-4 days after surgery or with very fast dissolving gut sutures. Either way, the incidence of bad scarring with eyelid skin incisions is very low and the method of closure does not really impact the scar.

Good Luck.

Peter A Aldea, MD

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Technique is more important than suture selection for scarring

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There are reasons for using permanent versus dissolvable sutures. Different surgeons will use different sutures for the same procedure. The key to a good result is finding a qualified and experienced surgeon who will set you up for the best result possible. The exact type of suture will depend on the experience of the surgeon and the location of the incision.

D.J. Verret, MD
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon

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.