Inguinal hernia surgery: suture left in


Q: I had an inguinal hernia surgery about a month ago and the surgeon asked me to go to a nurse and have the suture removed 10 days after the surgery. So I did, but unfortunately the nurse was too unexperienced and thought the suture was dissolvable, though it isn't. So she just cut the ends of my suture (there were ends of suture reaching out of both ends of the wound) and left the rest in. I called my surgeon and he asked me to pay him a visit after a month to remove the stitches. Right now I can only see a bit of one of the ends and I'm feeling really worried if it is possible to remove it or not.


A:   Hello.
Thanks for posting your query at
I understand your concern.

From your history, as of now, you are only able to see one end of the suture and your surgeon has told to visit after one month for suture removal.

At first, you need to confirm with your surgeon whether absorbable suture was put or not. Normally interrupted unabsorbable mattress sutures are put to appose the skin wound, but some doctors put subcuticular Vicryl sutures, Vicryl being absorbable. In your case, if suturing was done by absorbable subcuticular Vicryl, then you can visit your doctor after 1month and nothing will happen. In some cases, small stitch abscess may develop which will settle with oral antibiotics.

If interrupted simple/mattress sutures have been put using silk/ethilon then you should talk to your operating surgeon or go to another surgeon and get the sutures removed maximum within 5 days from now, otherwise the other end may get buried and as it is nonabsorbable suture material it can cause sinus with pus discharge or wound infection/stitch granuloma which can require re-exploration and excision of the stitch or excision of part of the healed surgical scar/granuloma requiring unnecessary intervention.

So kindly visit your Surgeon to confirm and proceed.

Hope the consultation was beneficial.

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