Missing stitches not found.

Patient

Q: I had stitches put in a week ago, removed them at home on the date they said to have them removed, however I could only find 8 of the 11 they stated they put in. They didn't use the dissolvable stitches, and all 8 were easy to find and remove, but 3 just didn't seem to be there. What should I do?

Symptoms:  None
Doctor

A:   Hi.

There can be 2 possibilities. The stitches got removed or the stitches are still present in the wound. If you have some pain and tenderness present, then the stitches may be present in the wound.

My guess would be that these are the end stitches which are difficult to see. You can try to clean these by cleaning the wound area with a liberal amount of Rubbing alcohol and trying to see the stitch. Once the stitch is found, cut it like you cut the remaining stitches.

If you still cannot find them, go to the Surgeon and ask him to remove them. All the best.

Comments / Follow Ups

Patient: The issue is that at the time (the day that they were supposed to come out), the stitches just didnt seem to exist; as in they were already under the skin if still in. I feel 2 small bumps in areas of the wound, and I think that they may be there. Is their a way I could figure out that it is in fact stitches there? or should I go to a doctor? or just wait for them to surface/ignore them?

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