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 19

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

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 34 reviews

Will not affect rhinoplasty results

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 129 reviews

Absorbable sutures

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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You will be fine

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.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Don't pick your nose after surgery

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 72 reviews

The Rhinoplasty sutures did their job

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 45 reviews

No Worries

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.


Nothing to Worry About

Thanks for your question. Accidentally removing 1 dissolvable stitch a week after surgery likely won't have any negative impact on your results. Although you should still be careful with your remaining sutures, this is not an emergency situation. Good luck with the remainder of your recuperation.

Jerold Olson, MD
Tucson Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Removing a dissolvable intranasal suture one week postoperative rhinoplasty surgery may not affect your final result.

We use dissolvable Chromic sutures in the nose during rhinoplasty surgery, and it is common for these to fall out, or become dislodged with cleaning during the first month postoperative. You may wish to place a call to your surgeon for reassurance, but in our practice, this is common and expeted during the healing process.Hope this helps you.Dr Joseph

Eric M. Joseph, MD
West Orange Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 393 reviews

Dissolvable sutures

The dissolvable sutures inside the nostril are used to make sure the incision is well approximated.  They are not structurally important.  The incision is dependent on the suture for only a few days after the operation and removal isn't a problem.  Its very unlikely you did anything to change your eventual outcome.

Sirius K. Yoo, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 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.