- Sutures or stitches questions
- Stapled wounds are treated the same as sutured wounds
- Skin glue (Dermabond) questions are also covered
When Sutures (Stitches) are Needed for Cuts
- Any cut that is split open or gaping needs sutures.
- Cuts longer than ½ inch (12 mm) usually need sutures.
- On the face, cuts longer than ¼ inch (6 mm) usually need to be seen. They usually need closure with sutures or skin glue.
- Any open wound that may need sutures should be seen as soon as possible. Ideally, they should be checked and closed within 6 hours. Reason: to prevent wound infections. There is no cutoff, however, for treating open wounds.
When Sutures (Stitches) Should be Removed
- Stitches and staples are used to keep wounds together during healing.
- They need to be removed within 4-14 days.
- The specific removal date depends on the location of the stitches or staples.
- Removal should not be delayed. Reason: will leave skin marks.
Wounds That Re-Open After Closure
- Sutures that come out early cause the most concern.
- For open cuts, call your child's doctor now. General guidelines for re-suturing or re-gluing are listed below:
- Face Cuts. If a face wound has re-opened, call your doctor now. The cut may need to be re-glued or re-stitched. It does not matter how long it's been since sutures (or glue) were placed.
- Body Cuts and Less Than 48 Hours. If the wound is elsewhere on the body, call your doctor now. The cut may need restitched (or glued) if gaping open. This is sometimes done if suturing was less than 48 hours ago.
- Body Cuts and Over 48 Hours Ago. Call your doctor now for advice. After 48 hours, re-suturing is rarely done (except on the face). After 48 hours, the sutured wound can be reinforced with tape.
- Cut Is Closed, but suture has come out early. The wound should heal up fine without any further treatment. Check with your child's doctor within the next 24 hours.