Can I trim a sharp stitch at the end of my breast incision?

I'm 3 weeks post op and under my right breast I have an extremely sharp and short stitch which is digging into the underside of my breast. I don't have an appointment with my surgeon until 5 weeks time and so am considering trimming it close to the skin. My concern is that it is likely to withdraw under the skin once cut and I'm worried that if it doesn't dissolve it will be difficult for the surgeon to get to it if I cut it any shorter. Please advise. It's currently really painful.

Doctor Answers 9

Spitting Suture after Breast Augmentation

Dear miss mum, 
I would check with your surgeon before trimming anything. When a patient has an issue like your's, we sometimes allow them to trim it themselves but always prefer that they check with us first. Good luck!

Breast augmentation incision

Thank you for your question.  Please see your surgeon immediately and address you concerns at that time.  This is something you do not want to observe.  Please do not remove the suture yourself as this has led to severe infections in patients not using the appropriate sterile instruments.  Best wishes in your recovery!


James Fernau, MD, FACS

Board Certified ENT

Board Certified Plastic Surgery

Member of ASPS, ASAPS, ISAPS, The Rhinoplasty Society, AAFPRS, OTO/HNS, ASLMS

James Fernau, MD, FACS
Pittsburgh Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

Can I trim a sharp stitch at the end of my breast incision?

Thank you for your question and congratulations on your surgery!  I would recommend making an earlier appointment to see your plastic surgeon and have them evaluate the stitch for removal.  This would be the most conservative and safest course of action.  I hope this helps.

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Breast Augmentation - Post Op Stitch Concern

Thank you for your question and congratulations on your recent surgery. Please follow up with your board certified plastic surgeon for an in-person evaluation. I would not suggest trimming any of the sutures yourself. Hope this helps and good luck with your recovery.

Trimming sutures

Sutures are made of all different materials.  Some sutures will dissolve on their own, however some sutures are permanent.  Surgeons often use a combination of different sutures, so without a photo it is difficult to tell.  In addition, there are different kinds of stitches used to close wounds.  Sometimes, a tail of suture is intentionally left out.  The best approach would be to call your surgeon's office and ask for an earlier visit. I am sure that if you have a bothersome suture, they would rather assess you and then can potentially trim that suture for you.  This is a safer approach than trimming a suture yourself at home.  Good luck!

Kirsty Boyd, MD, FRCSC
Ottawa Plastic Surgeon

Stitch issue

It is fairly common for some stitches to poke through the skin especially at the ends of incisions.  It is best to allow your surgeon to trim them for you.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 24 reviews


Call your plastic surgeon and I am sure they will have you come in sooner. I would advise you to not trim it on your own. Good luck.

Ram Kalus, MD
Mount Pleasant Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Painful stich

Try to communicate with your doctor and send photos to her/him if necessary. Your doctor knows what kind of suture was used and can advise you what to do.

Ege Ozgentas, MD
Turkey Plastic Surgeon


Thank you for your question. It would be helpful to provide a photo. It sounds like the suture is a absorbable monofilament. This can be easily trimmed as you thought. I would highly doubt that it is a permanent suture. Best of luck.

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.