The speed at which stitches (sutures) dissolve depends upon the material from which they are made and their thickness. Some sutures start to dissolve within a week and others take weeks to months. In this blog I’ll discuss how long it takes for the different types of sutures to dissolve after eyelid surgery.
It’s the plastic surgeons choice
Plastic surgeons can choose the suture material depending upon the strength required for the particular repair, the type of tissue repaired, the number of layers and the location of the repair. For upper eyelid surgery, many sutures are used in the deep tissues. Some of these sutures are permanent as there is a need to maintain strength permanently. However on most of the eyelid skin I use a suture that holds for the first week and then rapidly dissolves. I use a few sutures that need to be removed during the first post operative visit, typically 5 to 7 days following eyelid surgery or blepharoplasty. In this way, the stitches remain in place at full strength during the early healing phase, but may be removed before any post surgical ‘train track’ scarring develops from the stitches taking too long to dissolve.
What influences wound healing after eyelid surgery?
The rate at which the wound will heal and stitches dissolve will depend upon
- Where they are placed: High movement vs. low movement area
- Patient behaviours: Such as cleansing and the application of antibiotic ointment
- Intrinsic healing factors: How an individual patient reacts to the suture material and how long he or she typically takes to heal
One way to make sure that the stitches dissolve in an appropriate manner is to always keep them moist and lubricated. Usually an antibiotic ointment needs to be applied on the stitches. The ointment prevents scab and crust formation around the wound and keeps the healing wound in optimal condition, minimising scar formation. .
Sometimes small remnants of the stitches remain hidden and not easily visible due to the swelling of the eyelid skin, these need to be removed. If they are left behind, small cysts can form which will then have to be removed. Generally, if your stitches still remain after a week you should contact your surgeon about having them taken out.
Regardless of the type of suture your plastic surgeon chooses to use, it is crucial that you follow his or her instructions regarding care of your incision site following surgery. Talk to your plastic surgeon before doing anything different than you were instructed to do. Be patient with your eyes they will heal in time.
If you have any further concerns about eyelid surgery I invite you to download my free eBook 'Top 10 eyelid surgery FAQs - What you really need to know before going under the knife'. In it you’ll find my answers to the most frequently asked questions on eyelid surgery from my past patients. Questions include “Will I scar?”, “How long will it take to recover?” and “How long do the results last?”. Get your free copy now by clicking on the button below.
There has never been a better time to have cosmetic eyelid surgery
With modern techniques and recent technological advancements, eyelid surgery has become safe, effective and capable of delivering results that you always wanted with minimal pain, discomfort and downtime. A skilled and capable plastic surgeon who uses modern techniques can offer you better and longer lasting results while the specialist anaesthetist ensures your safety and comfort in a modern hospital.
As with any medical procedure, it is important to seek the advice of a skilled professional capable of addressing your concern. Since each person's anatomy and response to surgery and healing is different, an evaluation by a plastic surgeon can help you explore all options and determine the appropriate approach that addresses your concerns.
Tips on how to choose the right plastic surgeon for eyelid surgery
In Australia you should seek out a FRACS Plastic Surgeon. The FRACS Plastic Surgeon has 5 key attributes among others:
- Is fully qualified in Plastic Surgery including Cosmetic and Reconstructive Surgery
- Is trained by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) which is the only College in Australia authorised by the Australian Medical Council (AMC) to train Surgeons
- Is registered as a Specialist Plastic Surgeon with the National Medical Board of Australia
- Is recognised as a ‘Specialist in his or her field’ by Medicare Australia
- Is a member of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and the Australian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS)
If you need additional information to assist you in deciding whether cosmetic surgery is the right option for you, send me a quick email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will happily assist you.
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