I had a basal cell carcinoma removed - suture removal scheduled at 2weeks

Isn't this too long for sutures to remain - been 8 days now - fear scarring

Doctor Answers 2

Suture Removal

It depends on the location of the suture. Two weeks is the standard amount of time for places on the trunk and extremities. If the sutures are in the face, then typically they stay around one week. This can also be dependent upon the surgeon and size of the defect. I would consult your surgeon if you are having concerns. 

Orange County Dermatologist
4.3 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Suture removal time...

It all depends on where the surgery was performed.  Two weeks is quite standard for areas that do not include the head and neck.  Typically the trunk and extremities are 2 weeks while the face is 5-7 days and the neck is 5-14 days.  There is some variance among surgeons and training but this is fairly standard.  You are correct that the longer sutures remain the more risk of "railroad tracking" however some areas such as the trunk need more time or else the site may dehisce (pull apart).  Thus, higher tension areas require longer suture retention times to balance the risk of dehiscence versus aesthetics.

Joshua E. Lane, MD, MBA
Columbus Dermatologic Surgeon

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