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Pain in Stitches - When You Should See Your Doctor?

Written and reviewed by
Dr.Kanwaljit Chahl 87% (349ratings)
Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons (MRCS), MS - General Surgery, MBBS
General Surgeon, Mohali  •  25years experience
Pain in Stitches - When You Should See Your Doctor?

Stitches or sutures act as a closure for either surface wounds or deep wounds. The procedure to close a deep wound comprises sewing the two edges and applying stitches under the skin surface. Pain in Stitches can occur due to various reasons such as C Section delivery or surgery after an accident.

Categories of Stitches

To understand the pain in stitches, first, we need to understand types of stitches so that we can understand the right reason behind stitches pain:

  1. Non-Absorbable Stitches: In case of skin wounds or internal wounds. Such stitches heal quickly and are easy to remove. Nonabsorbable stitches are made of natural fibers or synthetic threads like nylon polypropylene. As the name suggests, these stitches are either permanent or persist for a long time.
  2. Absorbable Stitches: These stitches are applied to layers that have the property of healing quickly. They are very firm during the initial days. Then they start getting dissolved in the body.

Precautions are taken by the medical team before applying stitches to prevent infection

  1. Careful checking of nose for the occurrence of germs before the start of the operation.
  2. The skin must be cleansed prior to surgery.
  3. Sanitizing hands prior to conducting the surgery.
  4. Usage of germ-free gloves and sterile clothes while applying sutures.
  5. Prescribing antibiotics to the patients who may fear the high risk of infections.

Precaution For Patient to Prevent Infection

  1. Take a bath prior to surgery.
  2. Avoid using a razor at the surgical site. The same can be carried out by using clippers by the surgery team itself.
  3. Keep all your jewelry aside before the operation starts. Do not apply nail polish.
  4. It is advised to cover up the wound. Try to keep the adjacent areas germ free. This is a crucial step in avoiding infection.
  5. Visit your doctor at once on finding redness around the wound.

When to see your doctor?

Pain up to a certain threshold is normal. In case the pain gets unbearable, the scene can be alarming. It may be an indication of infection. Taking immediate remedial steps is necessary to avoid infection or any other side effects post the surgery. On meeting with any of the following signs, it is better to consult a doctor at once.

  1. If the skin around the wound gets swollen.
  2. If you detect redness around the wound.
  3. If the pain becomes unbearable.
  4. If the wound starts developing pus.
  5. If your body temperature increases abnormally or if you have a fever.
  6. If you observe red streaks around the wound.
  7. If in case a stitch gets opened up and the edges of the suture start widening. This is the most alarming sign. In case a suture gets opened, you must immediately seek for a remedy.

Ask your doctor for the precautions you can take to avoid experiencing any of the above signs. If unfortunately, you come across such alarming symptoms, rush to the nearest hospital and get the appropriate treatment. If you wish to discuss any specific problem, you can consult a General Surgeon.

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