Interior Sutures for a Dropping Eyelid Repair- When Should These Dissolve?

I have internal sutures after an eyelid surgery that were also held in place with an external suture. How long until the internal dissovable sutures actually dissolve??

Doctor Answers 5

Internal Sutures for Eyelid Repair

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Absorbable sutures can last can dissolve in a few weeks to a few months depending on the suture size, material and location. You can ask your surgeon about which specific sutures were used in your case.

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Absorbable sutures

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I fyou had absorbable sutures plaed internally for ptosis repair, it usually hold strength for several weeks depending upon the suture and then dissolves over a few months.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Resorbable sutures in the eyelid may take months

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Dear Gertie

The strength of any absorbable suture decreases as your immune system begins removing the suture material.

  • There are some suture materials that can resorb in weeks and others that last 2-3 months, but it is a continuous process. 
  • If you are having red or white  bumps on your eyelid skin, give your surgeon a call.  
  • Milia can occur and can sometimes be treated. 

Best Wishes

Travis T. Tollefson, MD, MPH
Sacramento Facial Plastic Surgeon

Good question to ask your actual surgeon.

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The time frame for a suture to dissolve very much depends on the suture material used.  Only your surgeon will know what suture was used.  Products like PDS and vicryl take about 3 months to completely break down and disappear.  I personally like to use a non dissolving suture for the internal supporting suture for the anterior levator aponeurosis resection ptosis surgery.  The rationale is that it is possible for these tissues to give or slide even late after surgery.  Studies have shown that the timing of this is about when one would expect the dissolvable sutures to break down.  Theoretically, surgery should stimulate enough scar tissue to keep the lid in its new position.  Think of the non dissolving internal suture as a belt and suspenders type approach.  Even then late failures can occur.  I think the biggest issue here is that the eyelid has to heal even as it is being opened and closed hundreds of times per day.  Hope this information is helpful.

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

When do dissolvable sutures go away?

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Hey Gertie,

Sounds like you had a Putterman procedure for ptosis.  It depends on the sutures that were used.  I could generally say that they should be gone within about 10 to 14 days.  However, what you may continue to experience is a sensation of something being there, rubbing your eye a bit, that sort of thing.   That's okay, that's just a little thickening of scar tissue.  This subsides over the coming weeks.  You may note a slight surge in that sensation about 2 to 3 weeks after surgery.  It goes away.

You'll be just fine

Chase Lay, MD

Chase Lay, MD
Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 80 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.