Droopy eyelid surgery; 11 day stitches?

I am 46 years old and researching doctors and procedures for droopy eye lids. I had a "first opinion" and was told that my lids are affecting my vision and a bleph is needed. For the procedure, the doctor stated that the muscles will be tightened and stitches which will be removed 11 days later. That concerns me since Im reading 5-7 is normal? Ive checked out everything on the doctor and its all good but should I seek a 2nd opinion?

Doctor Answers 8

Day 11 is late and it is not ideal to rely on stitches to dissolve on their own.

Neither approach is ideal.  Sutures should be removed at 5 to 7 days after surgery. If a laser was used to make the incision, then the stitches need to be left in about 5 to 7 days longer-a good reason not to use a laser in my opinion.  Yes there are sutures that breakdown on their own.  However, they do not reliably do so and for that reason, even these need to be removed by the surgeon.  Ideally you would have the ptosis surgery and blepharoplasty done together.  The only reason it is getting unbundled is that insurance companies do not pay doctors for both procedures at the same time.  If you were self-paying for surgery, the ptosis and the blepharoplasty would be done together.

Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Upper eyelid surgery for decreased visual fields

Often removing the excess skin can improve one's field of vision if the skin is close to or resting on the eyelash margins. There are various techniques to be used and some use sutures under the skin that are removed anywhere from 7 to 14 days and others like myself use dissolvable sutures. It is often surgeon preference. If the muscles need to be tightened that might also signal the need for a ptosis repair which is when the eyelid itself is hanging at or over the pupil. A second opinion is patient preference and it depends on how comfortable you are with your surgeon. Good luck in your area.

Scott Trimas, MD
Jacksonville Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Sutures were upper eyelid surgery

 There are many variables to the healing process, but in our practice we use dissolvable sutures that fall out at about day 7-8 after the surgical procedure. For more information  and many examples, please see the link and the video below

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 145 reviews

Suture Removal Time Frame

Thank you for your question llippai,

I understand your confusion. Typically when a patient has general stitches put in, such as in a cut on an arm, 7-10 days post status is standard.

However, we schedule our patients to come in for removal of upper lid bleph sutures on or about 14 days after surgery.  Sometimes, only dissolvable  sutures are used. If this is the case, you will not need removal.  Both dissolvable and removable (black or blue) sutures can be used, in which case you will have removal of the black / blue sutures.  Rest assured, your surgical outcome will benefit either way.  You will most likely know if you need removal  after the surgery, though.  

I hope this information helps!

Kristin J. Tarbet MD, FACS
Bellevue Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Suture removal

The good news about the eyelids is that they heal incredibly well regardless of when the stitches are removed. The skin is very thin and heals quickly with very little scarring. Unlike other skin in the body the scars rarely heal thick and elevated.  You should not be alarmed that your surgeon has recommended 11 days, just being more careful to prevent opening of your incisions. Hope this helps and best of luck.

Katrinka L. Heher, MD
Boston Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

When do you remove sutures after eyelid surgery

Thanks for posting. I agree, it can be confusing and it often makes you wonder whether this is the correct method. It depends on the Surgeons preference of suture material and type of sutures. I know excellent surgeons who remove all sutures on day 5 and I also know excellent surgeons who remove them on day 10. I use  a combination of sutures, some come out by day 7 and the others 10 - 12 days.
Best wishes

Naveen Somia, MBBS, PhD, FRACS
Sydney Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 74 reviews

Suture removal

There can be quite a bit of variation on when to remove sutures.  Most people would do this at about a week.  When you take out sutures too early you risk the possibility of the wound opening.  Most sutures can be safely left in for at least 10 days without creating any problems.  If the surgery is done with a laser it often takes the wound a little longer to heal and the sutures are left in longer.   

John J. Martin, Jr., MD
Coral Gables Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Eyelid surgery - different techniques

The patient inquires about proposed eyelid surgery and the difference in techniques. There are two major principles involved in the question.The first principle which is universally applicable is that if there's any question in the patient's mind after consultation, then ask questions or seek a second opinion from a qualified surgeon. The second principle is that there are many roads leading to the same goal, meaning that different techniques can achieve a similar if not identical result. Once you have chosen your surgeon then you should allow them to use the technique they feel best.
Specifically with regard to this patient's issues there are several different suture techniques, most of which I have tried extensively. My preferable technique is to use a combination of short-term and longer-term sutures. Interrupted sutures typically should come out in 5 to 7 days in the face, and longer in other body areas. Deeper subsurface stitches can stay longer and it is possible to use sutures which do not have to be removed. I choose to use both suture techniques which give me the advantages of both with fewer disadvantages.

Richard O. Gregory, MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.6 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.