A 23-year-old female asked:
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how does a doctor decide if a wound needs stitches?

3 doctor answers
Dr. Keith Leap
27 years experience Emergency Medicine
Several things: Doctors look at the wound and see how large it is (usually at least 1 cm), is it gaping, is it bleeding and is it less than 24 hours old. Is it contaminated badly? If so, no stitches. Also, how deep, and is it just in the epidermis and very superficial? Or does it go into the dermis and subcutaneous tissue? We have several criteria. (The wound in the photo wouldn't likely need them. Not deep)
Answered on Mar 18, 2017
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2 thanks
Dr. Alireza Raboubi
14 years experience Family Medicine
Examination: by physical examination to assess the need for closure
Answered on Oct 14, 2014
Dr.
Dr. answered
Specializes in
Deeper = more likely: Wounds that are more than 0.5cm in depth or that go all the way through the skin layer or are gaping open are more likely to need stitches to close them. If the wound is in an area of skin that has a lot of tension, it is more likely to need stitches. Often we use paper strips or glue for simple wounds where the edges naturally sit together e.g. on the face.
Answered on Nov 25, 2016

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