Suture (Stitch) Advice


Cork Emergency Departments


You have had ..........sutures to your ....................................(part of the body).

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What to expect

We will give you local anaesthetic to numb the area of your injury. This will wear off between 30 minutes and a few hours later, when you might need to take painkillers. Sutures (thread stitches or metal clips) hold the edges of the wound together in a good position to make a good scar. They do not heal a wound or prevent a scar. The blood clot (scab) that forms on the wound is the first stage of the healing process and should not be cleaned or picked off. Pain, redness and swelling after 2-3 days can be a sign of infection.

If your wound is on your face, the sutures will often be left uncovered. On other areas of the body they are covered with a dressing to prevent clothing rubbing or dirt getting into the wound. Sometimes we might use dissolvable sutures, but we usually use stitches that need to be taken out.

Suture removal should not be painful although you might feel some mild discomfort. We will recommend a time for you to see your General Practitioner(GP) or Practice Nurse to have the sutures removed.

Dos and Don’ts

Do keep the wound clean and dry

Do elevate (keep raised) the affected part.

Do see your GP or Practice Nurse as advised to have your sutures removed, and take this card with you.

Do give the wound a few days rest after the suture removal. After this you can gently massage the area with Vaseline to soften the scar tissue.

Don’t use antiseptic solution to clean off the blood clot.

When to seek advice

If your wound becomes more painful or you notice increasing redness or swelling contact your GP or return to the Emergency Dept.


Dear GP or Practice Nurse

Could you kindly remove the sutures on / around..............(date).

Yours sincerely

Signature..................................Designation..................................

Print Name ...............................Date .............................................

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If you are concerned, please contact the Emergency Department you first attended: MUH (021) 4271971 M-UCC at SMHC (St. Mary’s Health Campus) (021) 4926900 CUH (021) 4920200 LIU Mallow General Hospital (022) 58506 Bantry General Hospital (027) 52900