What to expect after stitches are removed?

Answered by Edward Huber

After your stitches are removed, there are a few things you can expect as your wound heals. First and foremost, you may notice some swelling in the area where the stitches were. This is completely normal and is your body’s way of healing itself. The swelling should go down over time, but it may take a few weeks for it to completely disappear.

In addition to swelling, you may also experience some bleeding or oozing from the wound site. This is also normal, especially if the wound is in a location that moves frequently, such as your knee or elbow. To help control the bleeding, you can apply gentle pressure to the area with a clean cloth or bandage. If the bleeding persists or is excessive, it’s important to contact your healthcare provider for further guidance.

Another thing to keep in mind is that your wound may split open or reopen if it is stretched or bumped. This can be quite painful and can delay the healing process. To prevent this from happening, it’s a good idea to wear a bandage that provides support to the wound. This will help protect it from any accidental bumps or movements that could cause it to reopen.

Speaking of bandages, you will likely need to continue wearing one until your wound is completely healed. Your healthcare provider will give you specific instructions on how often to change the bandage and how to care for the wound. It’s important to follow these instructions closely to ensure proper healing and to minimize the risk of infection.

Once your wound is healed, you may be left with a scar. Scarring is a natural part of the healing process and occurs when the skin is repaired after an injury. The appearance of the scar will vary depending on factors such as the size and depth of the wound, as well as your individual healing process. Some scars may be flat and pale, while others may be raised and darker in color.

To care for your scar, it’s important to keep it clean and moisturized. You can do this by gently washing the area with mild soap and water, and then applying a thin layer of an over-the-counter scar cream or ointment. Massaging the scar with your fingertips can also help improve its appearance over time. Remember to avoid exposing the scar to direct sunlight, as this can cause it to darken and become more noticeable.

After your stitches are removed, it’s important to expect some swelling, bleeding, and the possibility of the wound reopening if it is stretched or bumped. Wearing a supportive bandage can help prevent this. Additionally, caring for your scar by keeping it clean and moisturized can help improve its appearance over time. Remember to follow any specific instructions given by your healthcare provider and to reach out to them if you have any concerns or questions during the healing process.