Upper Eyelid Surgery 2 Weeks Ago, Supposed to Have Dissolvable Stitches But Doctor Hasn't Taken Them Out? (photo)

Had upper eyelid surgery 2 weeks ago. Supposed to have dissolvable stitches, which still remain, plus eyelids are still swollen. Saw the doctor at one week, and he refused to remove the stitches. Is this normal, am starting to question my doctor's work. Am scared these stitches which won't dissolve will leave a permanent scar.

Doctor Answers 10

Eyelid surgery

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This is a discussion you need to have with your surgeon. If the stitches are under the skin it is not a concern. If it is a running baseball type stitch, then I would want to remove it.

Help them dissolve

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At this time, if the stitches are in fact dissolvable but are still present, I think you could help them dissolve by spending some more time in the shower or washing your face. The wetness will help them come out more quickly. Very gently wipe over the area as well. Typically dissolvable sutures should dissolve in a week to 10 days.

Suture removal of eyelids

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Some surgeons use absorbable sutures on the eyelids and they usualy dissolve within a week. It they do not, some recommend ointment to help "melt" them or they remove them.  Best to discuss with your surgeon.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Dissolvable sutures not dissolving

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I would recommend compresses with a warm washcloth several times a day to help the sutures dissolve more quickly. Definitely speak to your surgeon and let him/her know about your concerns.

Mitesh Kapadia, MD, PhD
Boston Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 182 reviews

Upper Eyelid Sutures 2 Weeks Postop

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Many surgeons use dissolvable sutures to close blepharoplasty incisions.  These typically fall out with some gentle rubbing at 5-7 days postoperative following the procedure.  I would follow up with your surgeon because if the sutures remain in place a long time they may leave a cross-hatched appearance to the scar.  Swelling is a normal postoperative phenomenon and I would expect for this to continue to improve.

Michael Sundine, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon

Upper Eyelid Surgery 2 Weeks Ago, Supposed to Have Dissolvable Stitches But Doctor Hasn't Taken Them Out?

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Posted photo might be showing NON disposable sutures??? SEEK immediate removal like NOW! The recommend removal time is 5 to 7 days. 

These sutures need to be removed.

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Absorbable sutures to not always dissolve on schedule.  This is true if they are not kept moist.  Occasionally a chromic suture will be used instead of a fast absorbing suture.  These don't break down and definitely need to be removed.  I would call your surgeon and let them know that they need to be removed.  Don't wait until you next scheduled visit.

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

2 weeks post upper eyelid surgery with suture question

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Thank you for the photo.  It looks as though you are a little swollen, (normal), and the sutures are in the correct place.  Each surgeon will manage their sutures differently.  Some place absorbable sutures in the skin.  These will disintegrate and fall off on their own.  You are still very early in the post operative course.  Please do let your surgeon know your concerns.  He was there, and so he may have a very good reason to treat you the way his is doing.

Jeffrey J. Roth, MD, FACS
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Stitch type after Upper Eyelid Surgery

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Plastic surgeons will vary on the type of stitch used to close the skin incision, but most will use material that dissolves. Dissolving sutures or stitches after upper eyelid surgery may take longer than a week to dissolve. A topical ointment, such as petrolatum jelly, may help the skin heal better and the stitches dissolve faster..


Speak with you plastic surgeon regarding any concerns you have. Some dissolving stitches just don't dissolve fast enough and still need to be removed. Best of luck.


Dr. Chaboki


Houtan Chaboki, MD
Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

Dissolvable stitches and eyelid surgery

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Many surgeons, including myself, use absorbable sutures. In some cases they are gone in a week, but in certain people they remain for 2-3 weeks. Using antibiotic ointment will help them dissolve faster. If they get dried out they may linger.  During my post-op visits, I would only remove the sutures if they are very irritating to the patient and I'm confident the incision are healed to the point that they won't open up. If your surgeon was worried about removing them, I'd give him/her the benefit of the doubt. It is still very early in the healing process to make any other judgments about outcomes.

Matheson A. Harris, MD
Salt Lake City Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 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.