A surgical wound —also known as an “incision” , is a cut in the skin made by a surgical instrument called a scalpel during the surgery. Just as there are some methods to create surgical wounds, there are also some methods to close them. With a guide from the professionals, people can choose what method of wound closure they want to have.
Stitches are the way that most wounds are closed and after a certain period of time the surgical stitches have to be removed after a routine monitoring process of the surgical stitches on the surgical wounds. But some people are being lazy to regularly go to see their doctors and do not care about the stitches. The question is : Is it alright to let the surgical stitches without any removing action although the time when the stitches actually have to be removed are passed? What happens if surgical stitches are not removed?
The first thing that people have to know whether they have or have not to remove the surgical stitches as soon as possible after a recommended period of time or after the wounds have healed is the thread used for the stitches. There are two type of threads : absorbable and non-absorbable.
Absorbable stitches lose their strength and are eventually absorbed by the tissue because those are made from materials that can dissolve inside the body, such as fibers that line animal intestines (catgut). These absorbable stitches are not removed because the body absorbs them usually within about 60 days and will not be a problem even if they are not removed.
The non-absorbable stitches retain for months to years and may never be absorbed by the tissue. They retain their strength for 300 days or longer. This non-absorbable stitches are made from natural fibers or from synthetic threads such as nylon, polypropylene, polyethylene or polyester. This type has more possibility to be the one that causes a problem, because our body considers this thread as not the part of it, as a foreign material. It causes a kind of rejection, such as allergies. Consequently the surgical wounds become red or swollen.
Another reason why a person must be aware of unremoved surgical stitches is since the thread can cause stitch abscesses, and it will not get better until the stitches are removed because both of the thread or the wounds .
The other issue is an infection, because both the thread and the wounds (caused by the needle) can be the ports of entry for many bacteria and viruses.
The next issue (although it seems to be less important for some people) is cosmetic. The longer stitches are in place, the more likely it is to leave a permanent stitch marks in the skin. The worse thing is because it will become harder to remove for the skin may have grown over the stitches. But when the stitches are discovered, they are removed.
In conclusion, hopefully, all of these explanations can be one of the information that have to be considered if a person is wondering about what will happen if the surgical stitches are not removed.