Stitches or Staple Removal

You were seen today for removal of your stitches or staples. Your wound is healing as expected. The wound has healed well enough that the stitches or staples can be removed. The wound will continue to heal for the next few months.

At this time there is no sign of infection. 

Home care

  • If you have pain, take pain medicine as advised by your healthcare provider. 

  • Keep your wound clean and protected by covering it with a bandage for the next week or so. 

  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water before and after caring for your wound. This helps prevent infection.

  • Clean the wound gently with soap and clean, running water daily or as directed by your healthcare provider. Don't use iodine, alcohol, or other cleansers on the wound.  Gently pat it dry. Put on a new bandage, if needed. Don't reuse bandages.

  • If the area gets wet, gently pat it dry with a clean cloth. Replace the wet bandage with a dry one.

  • Check the wound daily for signs of infection. (These are listed under "When to seek medical advice" below.)

  • You may shower and bathe as usual. Swimming may be allowed, but check with your healthcare provider first.

  • Keep the wound out of prolonged direct sunlight. The new skin is very sensitive and can easily sunburn causing worse scarring.

  • Ask your provider about using over-the-counter scar removing creams if your wound is highly visible.

Follow-up care

Follow up with your healthcare provider as advised.

When to seek medical advice 

Call your healthcare provider if any of the following occur:

  • Wound reopens or bleeds

  • Signs of an infection, such as:

    • Increasing redness or swelling around the wound

    • Increased warmth from the wound

    • Worsening pain

    • Red streaking lines away from the wound

    • Fluid draining from the wound

  • Fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, or as directed by your healthcare provider

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