When to Remove Alar Base Stiches?

When is the correct time to remove alar base stiches? It seems to vary between 3 to 9 days. Will a long space of time before removal not leave stich holes?

Doctor Answers 5

Usually 1 week to remove alar base stitches

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Alar base stitches are sutures placed along the nostril-cheek crease, used to make the nostrils smaller. This is one area where scarring can be obvious in a rhinoplasty patient. There is no "magic" number of days for suture removal, but leaving the sutures in for too long causes scarring at the suture sites, often referred to as "railroad tracking."

Some patients are slower to heal than others. I generally remove all facial sutures in 1 week, unless the wound has not fully healed, then I would leave them in 2-3 more days. I usually do not leave sutures in longer than 10 days in this region.

Baltimore Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Best to remove stitches after 5 days

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It is best to remove stitches in the face by the fifth day so as not to leave any railroad tracking on the incision. Additionally, any sutures left in nine days will leave railroad tracking and should be avoided.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

Alar Base Stitches...When is the Best Time to Remove for Optimal Healing?

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Hi Petal,

Alar sutures should be removed at 7 days.  Actually the longer the stitches are left in place, the greater the risk of those dreaded "stitch" holes that you are referring to. 

Be well and enjoy your new nose.

Dr. P

Michael A. Persky, MD
Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

No more than 7 days.

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 Usually we  take these out in 5-7 days. If you leave them in for longer, you run the risk of suture marks permanently where the suture was.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Ask your physician

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Every plastic surgeon has their own way of doing surgery. Ask them. There is no absolute correct answer - I do many rhinoplasties and take out the sutures between 3 and 7 days usually.

William B. Rosenblatt, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 12 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.