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Salt Lake City, UT
A 22-year-old male asked:

i recently had stitches after a margin of skin was removed due to melanoma. my upper stitches have been removed but i still have the disintegrating ones and the area where they are is in so much pain i don't know what to do.?

7 doctor answers15 doctors weighed in
Dr. Joseph Campanelli
Facial Plastic Surgery 29 years experience
Stitch Abscess: Absorbable stitches can last for months and are recognized by the body as a foreign material. Like any other foreign material, they can become infected and form a small pocket of pus around the stitch known as a stitch abscess. Treatment is removal of the suture.
Dr. Wesley Schooler
Plastic Surgery 26 years experience
If healed, remove : If the wound is healed, you could have them removed as well. Dissolvable sutures produce an inflammatory reaction to break them down, and this can cause minor pain. You would wan tho have the wound checked to ensure that there is not an ongoing infection at the biopsy site. This could cause pain as well.
Dr. Khurram Khan
Wound care 20 years experience
Get it checked: Dissolving stitches can take 2 weeks to 8 weeks depending on which type of stitch was used. Your body sees this as a foreign material and responds as such (with inflammation) as it is dissolving. The worry is your body may be rejecting the stitch in which case you may get a stich abscess and or infection and these need to be evaluated by the doctor.
Dr. Gordon Kaplan
Plastic Surgery 22 years experience
Massage: Hi morgan, the pain you are experiencing may be due to scar tissue development. Try massaging the area. You can use any cream. Scar tissue will develop for the first 6 months after surgery. The next 6 months, the body starts to soften the scar. But you can help this with massage.
Dr. Ed Friedlander
Pathology 44 years experience
See your surgeon: My first concern is that you have developed a traumatic neuroma at the surgical site. Your surgeon knows how to deal with this.
Dr. Travis Kidner
Surgical Oncology 17 years experience
See your doc: The internal sutures should not be causing you pain. The pain should be improving over time. If you pain seems to be getting worse i would see your surgeon. Any signs of infection? Redness, drainage?
Dr. Joseph Mele
Plastic Surgery 32 years experience
Not from stitches: While stitches do hold the wound together long enough for the body to heal, they are not painful. Increasing pain may be due to infection, bleeding or insufficient circulation. Please check with your surgeon to be certain everything is healing well.

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Last updated Sep 28, 2016

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