Can permanent sutures used with facelift be removed? (photos)

1+ year after a skin lift (redo) I have scars/mal-positioned earlobes. Revision is no option given lack of skin. But a long permanent suture is poking through the skin at the back of one ear. The skin is inflamed, and it seems the suture must come out. But how can the skin be opened + closed to remove the suture with the already present skin tension, without creating worse tension/scarring? (Med. records have been refused, and no response to questions about the location of the permanent sutures)

Doctor Answers 10

Extruding facelift suture

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
This suture can be (and should be) removed as a simple office procedure. Its removal should not impact the results of your facelift one year later, as scarring hold up the lift at this point. Likewise, its removal should not impact tension on your scar.

Washington Facial Plastic Surgeon

Facelift Suture Question

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
After 1 year, the scar tissue formed underneath the skin is holding the skin in the lifted position.  If you are having sutures come through the skin, they should be removed.  

Over the year of healing after a facelft, you skin has slightly stretched.  For this reason, there should not be any excess tension on the skin after removing the suture. 

I hope this helps.  

Can sutures be removed after a facelift

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
The sutures need to be removed. If you are a year out from surgery the muscle and soft tissue have already scarred down and it should not have an effect on your facelift results. An incision can be made through the previous scar and the suture can be removed. The incision can then be closed without placing excess tension on the skin. 

Todd C. Miller, MD
Newport Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon

Exposed suture post facelift

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
The exposed suture should be able to be removed  through direct access at the exposure site.  At this stage, love a year after surgery, its removal should not change the result, since wound healing and scar tissue formation are mostly completed by this time.  You should see your surgeon to have this suture removed.

Todd C. Case, MD
Tucson Plastic Surgeon

Removal of internal facelift sutures

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

The exposed permanent suture need to be removed in order to allow healing in the area that is currently inflamed. At one year, the underlying tissues have most likely healed and the suture removal should have little effect on the present skin tension. A revision will possibly be able to improve your scarring and mal-positioned earlobes.

Gary Motykie, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Extruded suture

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Removing the suture can be performed in the office provided it is not a "thread lift" suture.  These have multiple barbs that prevent easy removal.  You have a legal right to your medical records.  Contact the office again and tell them your problem.  They should not be brushing you off.

Jeffrey Marvel, MD
Nashville Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

Facelift suture

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
This type of problem is sometimes common with permanent sutures. I have not used personally these types of sutures but I have had many patients that come to my clinic with them extruding. There should be no problem with removing them one year after the procedure. If the suture is creating irritation, extruded, discomfort, or infection then it has to be removed. Hope this helps.

Dr. Gustavo A. Diaz
Double Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon

Gustavo A. Diaz, MD
Charlotte Facial Plastic Surgeon


{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Thank you for your question about facelift.  Keep in mind, a thread lift is not a facelift.

Yes, it is possible but sometimes difficult to remove the sutures that were used for a thread lift.  

To be sure, see two or more experienced, board-certified Plastic Surgeons for a complete evaluation to make sure you are a good candidate and that it is safe for you to have surgery.

I hope this helps.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 221 reviews

Permanent sutures used during a facelift can create long-term problems.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
 It looks as though the suture should be removed. He clearly is creating irritation. I personally think these permanent sutures should not be used in a facelift as I find them ineffectual and they can create long-term problems.

Can permanent sutures be removed?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Yes, they can be removed.  The skin might need to be incised, depending on how deep the suture is.  However, it does need to be removed as it is protruding from your skin.

Kenneth D. Christman, MD
Dayton 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.