Pulled Dissolvable Stitch out After Rhinoplasty

I had a tip Rhinoplasty on 2/27/09, and while I was cleaning my nose on the right side today (around a week after surgery), I pulled out my dissolvable stitch, thinking it was hair. Will this affect my long term result? How long does it take for dissolvable stiches to dissolve? Will my right nostril be uneven because of this? Thank you!

Doctor Answers 22

And They Said "No Strings Attached"...Pulling Out Dissovable Suture a Week After Rhinoplasty

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Hi Denver gal,

As one of my fellow residents in training used to say, "NTW". Not to worry. The stitches could be removed after 5-7 days without affecting the outcome of your rhinoplasty. The time that dissolvable sutures take to dissolve varies depending upon the moisture, between 10 to 21 days. Do not pull too vigorously on anything else though.

My fellow resident also was fond of saying, "Jacuzzi to me Stat!” which sounds like a good idea for me right about now.

Be well and enjoy your new nose.

Dr. P

Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Don't worry about this

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In nasal surgery many doctors use dissolving sutures to close the nasal incisions and the septum. They are meant to keep the lining of the nose in place and to prevent bleeding. Typically they are meant to dissolve in 1-3 weeks, but sometimes it takes longer and they sort of fall out, or sometimes your doctor will remove them. 

In any event, have your surgeon take a look but this is common and typically not a problem. Good luck!

Kapil Saigal, MD, FACS
Winter Park Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Absorbable sutures

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Absorbable sutures are commonly used for closure of the internal incisions during rhinoplasty. Depending on the exact material, they may dissolve in a matter of days or may last up to about 3 weeks. At the 1 week mark following rhinoplasty, the skin incisions have healed quite well and the skin sutures are no longer required. If you accidentally pulled out an absorbable suture, this should have no untoward effect on your result. You should mention that this happened when you see your surgeon in follow-up if you are still concerned.

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Dissolvable Stitches in the Nose After Rhinoplasty

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The dissolving stitches that were put inside the nostril are usually ready to fall out by around one week following surgery. They don't always come out at that point, but at that point the edges of the incision have healed together adequately so that the sutures are no longer required.

I usually tell my patients that the stitches "will come out when they are ready". This will not impair your results at all and there is nothing to be concerned about.

Cory Goldberg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Will not affect rhinoplasty results

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It is not a problem to pull a dissolvable stitch out of the nose within the first two weeks after rhinoplasty. This is a normal appearance, and they do tend to fall out once the tensile strength of the stitch has weakened, and will not affect the long-term results of the rhinoplasty. Most dissolvable stitches dissolve out between one and two weeks after the rhinoplasty.

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

You will be fine

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The best advice is to leave your nose alone after surgery. It is very tempting to start messing with it and trying to keep it clean. However, you do not want to disrupt anything. A stitch coming out 10 days later is likely no big deal. However, if you have concerns, then you should see your doctor for an examination. Good luck.

Don't pick your nose after surgery

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This should have little consequences if it was used to close the skin layer (lining of the nostril). Generally, stitches which structure and support the nose shape will be buried deep in the nasal tip, and not be accessible to your finger. With that being said, avoid touching the nose. Gentle cleansing of the lining can be achieved with half strength peroxide soaked q-tips if approved by your surgeon. Use of a saline nasal spray will help keep the lining moist and comfortable as well. I hope this helps.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

The Rhinoplasty sutures did their job

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It sounds like you removed a suture that was placed to reapproximate the internal nasal lining (mucosa). The mucasa heals very quickly: after 1 week, the sutures are usually not needed any longer and are meant to melt away. This should not impair the end-result of your rhinoplasty procedure.

Frank P. Fechner, MD
Worcester Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

No problem if it's dissolvable stitch

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If what you took out is a suture that was meant to stay in for longer periods of time, then it may not be good. All plastic surgeons can tell you what they personally do, but the only surgeon that matters is your own. Call him/her up and tell them what happened. Get their vote of approval or check it out.

Robert M. Freund, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

No Worries

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There are a number of dissolving sutures used in the nose. I tend to use chromic, but no matter. The sutures will usually fall out at about 7 10 days all by themselves, but that can vary. At this point, the stitch did its job, and you should be fine. Just examine your nose, and if nothing is changed, just tell you doctor on next visit.


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.