Managing Surgical Stitches / clips At Home, After Surgery

Yes. Most of our patients get discharged from the hospital with clips/stitches still in place. It is not necessary to stay back in hospital purely for their removal as it will increase the cost of hospital stay.

Yes. There are no restrictions on travel as far as stitches are concerned. However, the movement may cause various degrees of discomfort or pain depending on the surgical site and extent of surgery. Talk to us to know more about how you can manage your travel/commute.

If you are pain free, there is no need to take regular painkillers. For occasional pain and discomfort we prescribe simple analgesic medications.
The surgical wounds seal off completely within the first 48 hours after surgery. Hence applying anything over a normally healing wound is of no significant benefit. Hence we do not advocate applying anything over the clips/stitches.
Yes you can. If the surgical wound has healed well and you have not been advised any specific care for the wound it means – It is a completely sealed off site. Hence there is no risk of contamination from outside. However several of our patients are not comfortable keeping the wounds open fearing the discomfort caused by clothes touching the wound or accidental contact with others. In such a case, a simple dressing can be given to cover the wound. But it is necessary that the dressing is not airtight and allows the skin to breathe.

Yes you can. You need not worry about the wound getting contaminated by water and soap. However do not rub the soap directly over the wound as it may incite pain. Work up a lather and apply it gently on the wound. And then rinse thoroughly with water.

We encourage all our patients to take baths daily. This not only keeps the wounds clean but also gives a feeling of freshness.

You can gently dab the stitches with a soft-dry towel. If you are not too comfortable with that, you can use a hair dry to dry the stitches.

Yes. There are no restrictions on general and routine work- like daily activities, simple walking, cooking etc. However we usually advise to avoid heavy and strenuous work for variable periods depending on the extent of the surgery.

The stitches and clips are pretty strong and hold the skin edges efficiently even under considerable tension. So coughing is not going to open up the stitches. Coughing is, in fact, necessary to clear secretions in your lung. Whenever you want to cough, it is better to do it in sitting position or in sleeping sideways positions as it relaxes the abdominal muscles. Place a folded bed sheet onto the stitches and press firmly with both your hands on the bed sheet before coughing. This will give adequate counter pressure on the stitches and prevents pain induced by stretching. Crouching a little forward while coughing also helps.

You do not have to follow a specific diet with respect to your stitches or surgical wound. It’s a misconception that certain types of diets cause delayed wound healing and pus formation. The dietary advice is given after taking into consideration the type of surgery , presence of diabetes,hypertension, kidney or liver ailments and nutritional status.

The stitches or clips are generally removed 10-14 days after surgery.

No. It is not painful. You may feel mild discomfort during the removal of stitches/clips.

Not really. One of the team members of our excellent home care services will visit your home for stitch removal.

If the drain tubes have already been removed you would have small dressing at those sites. These are small wounds and usually seal off within 2-3 days after the removal of the drain tubes. You can take them off after 2-3 days , by which time the wounds would have become dry. You do not have to apply anything over the wound nor do you require any further dressing over them.

Sometimes the surgical stitch site may have some fluid collection, or pus collection in which cases a few stitches may have to be opened up to let it out. In such a case you may require regular dressing of such a wound to aid in healing. Sometimes due to delayed wound healing the skin edges may not have joined well. In such cases as well we advise regular dressing.

A superficial wound can be managed at home. We would advise on whether you would be able to manage such wounds on your own. If the wound is not simple enough to be managed by you, our home care team will take care of it.

Note if there is any redness around the stitches, a new swelling or unusual pain at any part of the wound. If so, please contact us immediately.

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