Do my stitches fall out or dissolve?

It's been two weeks since I've had a septoplasty rhinoplasty and my dissolvable stitches are starting to stick out on the inside wall of my septum and hang slightly out of my nose, is this normal?

Doctor Answers 5

Normal and can be trimmed by your surgeon

Dear realreal01, Most commonly the sutures used are either chromic or fast-absorbing chromic. The body recognizes it as a foreign protein, mounts an inflammatory reaction and the portion actually within the tissues dissolves and allows the suture to fall out. Depending on what material it is, this could take three to four weeks versus two to three weeks respectively. There is no harm or threat by having them hang slightly out of your nose, but if it is bothersome to you they can be trimmed away quite readily on a followup visit with your surgeon. I hope this has been helpful. Robert D. Wilcox, MD

Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Dissolvable stitches and how they fall out

Dissolvable stitches are commonly used in septoplasty and rhinoplasty along the middle wall of the nose. 

Dissolvable or Absorbable suture means the stitch will hold its strength for a designated period of time before breaking down. The stitch does not simply melt away. As it starts to dissolve, the string breaks at the weakest/thinnest points and the remaining string hangs down or sticks out. It will continue to breakdown on its own.

If an end is sticking out of the nose or bothering you, I would go back to your surgeon's office, so they can take a look and trim it for you. You could cause some serious damage by pulling on loose ends or start an infection by sticking unclean scissors up your nose. Safety comes first!

Victor Chung, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Dissolvable stitches after septoplasty/rhinoplasty

In general, the vast majority of surgeons use absorbable (dissolvable) stitches inside the nose following a septoplasty or rhinoplasty. Depending on the type of suture used, these typically "dissolve" over the course of 7-14 days, but can vary from patient to patient. Occasionally, these sutures can be trimmed or removed if they start to cause any discomfort or irritation. I would recommend seeing your surgeon if you have any concerns. Good luck!

Sachin S. Pawar, MD
Milwaukee Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews


Thank you for your question.  Its likely that the suture you are referring to is the one used to close the septoplasty portion of your operation.  These are almost universally dissolvable.  Having said that, the ends are normally trimmed short enough that they don't stick out of the nostril.  If they are bothering you, contact your surgeon so they can take a look.  Sometimes when I have patients that are bothered by the dissolvable internal sutures, I either trim them or take them out once they are no longer needed.

Sirius K. Yoo, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Rhinoplasty Sutures

It is hard to determine what type of sutures were used during your procedure since no photos are submitted.  However, if you do have dissolvable sutures they start to dissolve around 6-8 weeks post surgery.  I would consult with your PS to ensure that in fact you do not have any other suture that needs to be removed.

Leonard Hochstein, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 201 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.