Stitches Dissolving but Skin is Not Totally Held Together. Should I Be Concerned?

I am 8 days postoperative from lower face lift and some of the crust is coming off my disolvable stitches but the skin is not holding together around the back of the Tragus on my ear and also on the side of my head right above the ear about 1/8th of on inch. Doctors office told me to wash with antibiotic soap and put antibiotic ointment on it.

Doctor Answers 5

Poor healing after face lift

Thank you for asking about your face lift healing.

  1. Small areas of skin separation after a face lift are common.
  2. Your surgeon's advice sounds appropriate after a face lift.
  3. The outside dissolving stitches do not hold your face lift in place - the deep stitches do while your own tissues heal. 
  4. You have 70% of your final internal tissue strength by 2 weeks. Keep in touch with your surgeon but things sound fine. Best wishes.

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Healing Incisions after Facelift

  • Occasionally, after a facelift there can be some slight separation of skin edges, and it sounds like your plastic surgeon's recommendation to keep these areas clean and moist with antibiotic ointment is appropriate. 
  • Do keep in close contact with your plastic surgeon so that he/she may evaluate you and make sure that you go on to heal as quickly as possible. 
  • Likely, within a couple weeks these areas will be healed.

Joshua Cooper, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Minor Wound Separation after Facelift

     Many plastic surgeons place a lot of tension in the area behind the ear after facelift.  This is the area that is most likely to separate.  If the plastic surgeon has examined you and thinks this is fine, this most likely represents minor wound separation and will likely heal uneventfully.  Kenneth Hughes, MD facelift Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 492 reviews

Stitches Dissolving but Skin is Not Totally Held Together. Should I Be Concerned?

Be sure to make a follow up appointment with your plastic surgeon if you are noticing skin seperation at eight days post op.  It may need to be re-sutured or steri strips may be placed depending on your healing process.

Stuart B. Kincaid, MD, FACS (in memoriam)
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
3.3 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Dissolving stitches

Thank you for your question.  I am sure it must seem disconcerting to have to worry about the integrity of the sutures.  I cannot tell without an examination whether or not your incision is truly separating.  I urge you to followup with your surgeon.  If he or she has examined the wound and still prescribe an antibiotic cream to treat the wound, your wound may still heal fine in most instances.  Unless there is a major separation, the 1st few weeks after your operation is generally not the best time to perform a scar revision due to the inflammation involved.  I wish you luck in your recovery.

Tito Vasquez, MD, FACS
Southport Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 17 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.