Wound Care: Sutures Therapy

The dressings and sutures are generally removed six to ten days after surgery. Exceptions:

Location (Mechanical)

Fingertip: 2-3 weeks

Amputation: 3 weeks

Extensor surfaces of moving joints: 3 weeks

Metabolic (Risk for very delayed wound healing)

Renal dialysis: 3 - 4 weeks

Chronic high dose corticosteroid treatment: 3 - 4 weeks

Transplant recipients: 3 - 4 weeks

Crush / Burn / Shredding Injury: 2 - 3 weeks

Following suture removal, it is explained that it is normal for the wound margins to separate slightly later in the day following suture removal. It is mentioned that the wound may appear to be opening, and that the depths of the wound may be 1/8 deep or so, with pink flesh at the base. This is due to the presence of callus on the skin of the hand and does not represent a problem. Wound strength is adequate to prevent the wound from opening further. The patient is warned that the skin of the palm will peel like an old sunburn during the course of the week following suture removal. It is emphasized that it is normal for the mid-proximal palm to be most tender and most sensitive to the touch during the interval of time from two to six weeks following surgery.

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