View Full Version : Suture removal caution by Dr. Lindsey McLean VA

Dr. Lindsey
01-22-2013, 06:42 AM
We've had several recent cases of patients having unremarkable strip cases at our office, staying for a few days, then returning to the UK and having difficulty getting their sutures removed.

On 3 of the incidents this year, the patient went to a clinic, was told by the nurse or doctor that the sutures "weren't ready to come out" and were told to come back in a few days to a week. Fortunately, all sent me a picture of their donor area which was completely normal and I simply asked them to go to another clinic...or in 1 case, to have their spouse remove the sutures. I think its likely a case of the nurse not being comfortable with removing sutures.

Last week however we had a nice fellow who'd had a 2500 graft case. We saw him on postop day 1, cleaned him up and he went sight seeing. On day 3, my lead tech actually drove him to the airport and saw that he looked fine.

On day 7, he emailed me that a nurse had taken out a few sutures and he was bleeding so badly that they had to bandage him up, and he was to come back in a week!!

The miracle of facetime allowed his wife to show us the suture line...which was indeed all torn up in one small area... but also showed us that the rest of the sutures looked fine. Wendy walked his wife through removing the rest of the sutures while I looked on and his wife had no trouble. I expect the nurse who cut out the first 3-5 sutures had little experience...and the supervising consultant had even less.

So this is a caution to our travelling patients...perhaps check with a local clinic before coming for your case to make sure someone can competently take out your sutures postop. Or simply stay and we'll do it!

Thank goodness for facetime in this instance.

Dr. Lindsey McLean VA

01-22-2013, 09:44 AM
The UK nurse .. Must have been her first day of work experience ... :rolleyes: