Stitching, also known as suturing, is one of the most popular methods used by healthcare practitioners in order to close or repair wounds in the skin. Whether they are used in surgeries or simply when individuals hurt themselves in the street, stitches are surely helpful. As stitches can be used both internally and externally, they are very beneficial and have a wide array of purposes. There are two main types of stitches which are commonly being used nowadays: absorbable and non-absorbable. Absorbable stitches are those sutures which rapidly break down into the tissues. In about 60 days, they lose their strength and are gradually absorbed by the skin, meaning that they do not have to be removed.
Absorbable stitches are primary used for internal suturing, when surgical incisions need to be closed and when the ends of bleeding blood vessels must be tied. They are also used in patients who do not have the possibility of returning to the healthcare facility for suture removal. Non-absorbable stitches are the ones capable of maintaining their strength for more than 60 days. They are made from a special type of silk and are used mainly for skin wound closure purposes, meaning that they will be removed after a few weeks. Non-absorbable stitches are also used in case that absorbable stitches do not suffice, like when the heart does not support them due to its constant movement. Although they are often removed, there are cases when non-absorbable stitches are left permanently.
As the parts of the body are different from one another, it is natural for them to heal at different speed. This is what determines how fast will stitches be removed. For example, facial wounds heel in about 3-5 days, while limbs take about 10-14 days to heal. Before returning for stitches removal, patients will be given instructions on how to properly take care of the wound. Prior to the removal process, the wound is cleansed with antiseptics in order for the loosened scar tissue to be removed. Then, the healthcare practitioner will use sterile forceps to pick up the knot of each stitch, and surgical scissors to cut it. Finally, the wound will be cleansed again, and the patient will be free to go.