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The removal of sutures under anaesthesia is a routine medical procedure used to remove sutures post-operatively without causing the patient pain or discomfort. Sutures are used to repair skin wounds by sewing skin together. It is usually used when the wound is too big and cannot close naturally. In such cases, and when non-absorbable sutures are used, the sutures need to be removed once the wound has healed enough. Sometimes the procedure to remove the sutures may be painful. Thus, patients are first given anaesthesia to keep them from feeling any pain.
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Sutures are used to close wounds and surgical incisions. They are made of a thread or strand that holds the edges of the skin together. Once the wound has healed, the sutures are no longer needed and would have to be removed.
Some sutures are absorbable because they are made of materials that the body can absorb easily. Some sutures, however, are made of synthetic material that the body cannot absorb. This is why the patient has to go back to the doctor’s office to have them removed.
Doctors usually use non-absorbable sutures because they can be used for larger wounds that take longer to heal. These sutures are stronger and can thus stay in place for a longer period. There are three kinds of non-absorbable sutures and these are:
Before removing the sutures, the doctor first examines the wound to make sure it is fully healed. Sutures have to stay in place for a certain period before they can be safely removed. Generally, they have to be removed within 7 to 14 days after they were placed. The specific length of time, however, depends on the location of the injury. As a rule, sutures in areas with good blood supply can be removed earlier because these areas heal faster. The following is a guide on how long to wait to remove sutures:
- Facial stitches – 3 to 5 days
- Limbs – 10 days
- Joints – 10 to 14 days
- Back – 14 days
- Abdomen – 7 days
After the sutures are removed, the wound will continue to heal until it regains its original strength. Proper wound management is important until the healing period is complete, as it can help prevent scarring and other potential complications. It is normal for patients to have a raised, reddish ridge at the injury site for 2 to 3 months, but the ridge will flatten out within 6 months. It may take up to 8 months for a full recovery.
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The following are the steps used to remove sutures under anaesthesia:
- If the wound is covered with a bandage or dressing, it is removed to expose the affected area.
- The doctor then prepares the affected area by putting antiseptic on the wound to clean it.
- He then locates and picks up the knot at the end of each suture using sterile tongs.
- He cuts the suture with a surgical scissor or small knife.
- He then picks up the loose suture and slowly pulls it away from the skin. The exact suture removal technique used depends on what kind of suture technique was used. Some examples are intermittent and blanket stitch sutures.
- Once the sutures are removed, the doctor cleans and dresses the wound again.
Since the whole procedure is performed under anaesthesia, the patient will not feel pain.
Sometimes, sutures cannot be taken out completely in one visit. Thus, the doctor will ask the patient to come back at a later time. If the wound is not well healed yet, alternate sutures, or second sutures, are usually removed first, and the remaining sutures are removed days or weeks later. However, if the wound is well healed during the scheduled removal, all sutures are removed at the same time.
المخاطر والمضاعفات المحتملة
Patients who have sutures should take care of their wound to help minimise scarring. They need to keep the wound clean and dry, and to replace the dressing or bandage regularly. If a wound heals properly, the sutures can be removed easily and without complications.
The anaesthesia used during suture removal is usually mild. But even so, it still poses some risks to any patient every time they are used. These risks include:
- Allergic reaction
- الحساسية المفرطة or severe allergic reaction
- Sore throat
- Injured nerves
The removal process itself may be affected by some complications. These may include:
- Inability to fully remove the suture from the tissue
- Wound dehiscence
- The re-opening of the wound during suture removal
- Hypertrophic scarring
- جدرة تشكيل - تكوين
Patients should call their doctor if they notice the following symptoms after having their sutures removed:
- Increasing pain
- Red streaks around the wound
- Pus coming out from the wound
Samartsev V, Kuchumov A, Gavrilov V. “Sutures in abdominal surgery: biomechanical study and clinical application.” Central European Journal of Medicine. 2014 Dec; 9(6): 849-859. http://link.springer.com/article/10.2478/s11536-013-0334-7
Young K. “An Overview of Sutures in Surgical Practice.” World Journal of Medical education and Research. 2013 July. 3(1). http://www.wjmer.co.uk/downloads/journal_volume3_indarticles/PDF/An_Overview_of_Sutures_in_Surgical_Practice.pdf
What Is Removal of Sutures Under Anaesthesia?
Removal of sutures under anaesthesia, also known as Suture Removal Under General Anesthesia (SUGA), is a medical procedure that involves the removal of sutures from a wound while the patient is unconscious. It’s a relatively common procedure, and is generally used in cases where it is too difficult or painful to remove the sutures while the patient is conscious.
During the procedure, the patient is put under general anaesthesia. Once the patient is asleep, the surgeon will then remove the sutures using a variety of tools. The patient will then be woken up and the procedure will be complete.
The removal of sutures under anaesthesia is a relatively common procedure. It’s generally used in cases where the patient cannot adequately receive sutures removal while awake. It is also used when the sutures are particularly delicate and difficult to remove or if the patient is at risk of infection.
It is important to note that the procedure can be performed in either adults or children, though medically speaking, it is generally preferred to perform the procedure on adults. In children, there is a greater risk of complications due to their immature inflammatory responses and wide range of possible reactions to general anaesthesia.
The benefits of removing sutures under anaesthesia are numerous. For one, it allows the patient to be pain-free during the procedure. This can be especially important for people who suffer from chronic pain or those recovering from an injury or surgery.
The procedure also offers a higher degree of accuracy than trying to remove the sutures while conscious. Since the patient is under anaesthesia, the surgeon can take their time to properly remove the sutures without fear of causing the patient discomfort.
Finally, it reduces the risk of infection that can develop if the sutures are removed with too much force while the patient is conscious.
The expected results after having sutures removed under anaesthesia vary depending on the individual. Generally, most patients report feeling some degree of soreness and tenderness in the area where the sutures were removed. This is to be expected and should last only a few days.
In some cases, the patient may experience bruising or swelling at the site of the suture removal. This is normal and the swelling and bruising should start to dissipate after a few days.
It is important for patients to rest after the procedure and to keep the suture area clean and dry. It is also important to follow any instructions given by the surgeon regarding stitches ever that may be required.
The removal of sutures under anaesthesia is a relatively common procedure that offers numerous advantages for both the patient and the surgeon. It lets the patient be free from pain as the sutures are removed, and it offers a greater level of accuracy for the surgeon. Most patients will experience some degree of soreness and tenderness at the suture site, but this should only last for a few days. It is important to follow the instructions provided by the surgeon, including any instructions on stitches.