How Long Until Plastic Surgery Stitches Dissolve?

I had upper eyelid surgery 8 days ago, and the doctor used dissolvable stitches. How long does it normally take for stitches to dissolve? Is there anything I can do to make them dissolve faster?

Doctor Answers 112

Dissolving sutures in blepharoplasty

Depending on the suture, dissolving sutures may take anywhere from 5 days to 14 days to dissolve.  Warm soaks and topical ointments may speed this process.  To achieve the best scar appearance, non dissolving sutures should be run just under the skin from one end of the incision to the other.  The suture ends are taped in place and after 3-5 days the suture is easily removed by sliding it out in the office.  This leaves no "track" marks on the skin which external sutures can and since the suture is non dissolving there is no reaction from your body to the stitch and hence a better scar appearance.

Dissolving sutures and eyelid surgery

Usually when dissolvable sutures are used in eyelid surgery they dissolve within 7-10 days.  If they do not dissolve you should return to your surgeon to have them removed.

David Freilich, MD
Englewood Oculoplastic Surgeon

Dissolving Sutures And Blepharoplasty

If your surgeon used a fast absorbing gut suture, it should dissolve within 7-10 days. In many cases the body digests the suture material under the skin before the visible portion of the suture thread actually falls off. Therefore, you may still see some suture material on the skin at 10 days or so. Keeping the incisions moisturized with ointment (preferably an eye antibiotic ointment) will help speed this process up. One of the worst things you can do is to allow the incision to scab or dry out. This can lead to worsening scar formation and slow the recovery considerably.

John M. Hilinski, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Blepharoplasty dissolving sutures.

It depends on what you had done, the suture that the surgeon used, and where he/she put it.  Dissolvable sutures can range in their time to finally go away, (i.e.; rapid absorbing cat gut, vs. monocryl).  Most will take out external sutures before 7 to 10 days to avoid extra scarring.  Usually it is not a good idea to "make" them dissolve faster.  They are most likely there for a reason.  If you have questions, please call your surgeon.  They usually have a reason for selection of type of suture and placement.  Ask what the plan is, and then please stick to it...

Jeffrey J. Roth, MD, FACS
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Disolvable suture will most likely stay for 30-60 days

most disolvable sutures remain for 30-60 days. if they are placed externally, they can be removed one week after surgery.

Sean Younai, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Dissolving Stitches for Eyelid Surgery

We have different stitches that dissolve at different times: some will dissolve in 3-5 days, others can take weeks or months!

The dissolving stitches on the surface that you can see will generally dissolve between 3-7 days.

The stitches "dissolve" as a result of your body's reaction to the stitch material. Soaking them in water, for example, won't make them "dissolve" any faster.

Because your surgeon does want them in for a particular time period, check with him/her before doing something to remove them on your own.

If the stitches are hanging around too long, go into your surgeon's office to have them removed.

Paul C. Zwiebel, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Eyelid sutures

 Thank you for your question. Nonabsorbable stitches will need to be removed. I like to put these type of stitches because they are not as reactive and the stitch material doesn't stay on the body. I remove the stitches in five days. Occasionally I put a dissolvable stitch, which will eventually dissolves in one week. If you have some stitches that are irritating you perhaps your physician could remove them. In general the eyelid only takes about 5 to 7 days to heal properly. Good luck!

Kailash Narasimhan, MD
Sherman Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Eyelid surgery

It usually takes between 7 days to max 2 weeks for fast absorbing gut usually 6.0.  It all depends of what suture is used but I use the finest hair like color less sutures that absorb at good amount of time for healing to have happened.

Afshin Farzadmehr, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Dissolvable sutures

Dissolvable sutures are usually gone in 5-10 days, depending on the type that was used.  Please see your surgeon for regular checkups to determine how you are healing.  If they don't dissolve within the usual time, they may need to be removed.  Nothing should be done to make them dissolve faster as your skin is still healing and need the support of the stitches until the dissolve.

Aloha,

Shim Ching, MD

Shim Ching, MD
Honolulu Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Upper eyelid sutures

Sutures on the upper eyelid are generally fairly thin and only a handful of stitches are used in this area that are absorbable.  Some dissolve as soon as 10 days and others can take as long as 4 weeks.  After a week, you can visit with your surgeon and he should be able to remove them if they are still in place.

Mike Majmundar, MD
Atlanta Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 41 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.