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Topic: omg...there is still a stitch! What should I do?

Forum: Surgery - Before, During, and After — Surgical options and helpful tips for recovery and side effects.

Posted on: Nov 4, 2009 07:49PM

cookiegal wrote:

Ok, I think there is still a stitch in me, unless I am losing my mind.

It's tucked under the fold of the breast so it would be easy to miss, I thought it was a scab.

My surgery was 3 weeks ago, not supposed to see dr until next week!

I called them twice today with some other questions and they never called back, so now I am worried they will think I am nuts and seeking attention. I have had a more-difficult-then ususal recovery.

Surgeon is not in office for another week, is there any harm in leaving stitch until then? It would be about 4 weeks old at that point.

Surgeon mentioned something about dissolving stitches...was it supposed to dissolve?

You deserve a cookie!
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Nov 4, 2009 08:07PM cakeisgreat wrote:

Hi, SuzNY!  I am sorry your surgery has been tough on you.  I am definitely not an expert, but I have stitches all the time for preventative melanoma moles and the usual timeframe for keeping stitches in is two weeks, however, I have had them on 3 weeks without a problem and also wouldnt worry if I had to wait longer to get them removed.  I've even had pieces sticking out of my skin (very annoying) and no infoection.

 With my lumpectomy, I had the surgical tape, no external stitches (had the internal, dissolving stitches I believe tho), so I can totally comment on that...but I hope that helps a little until someone else has a comment?


~Cake (is always great!)
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Nov 4, 2009 08:16PM lisa-e wrote:

SuzNY,  when I had my hip replacement they used disolvable stitches for the internal stitching.  I had what my surgeon's pa called spitting stitches for months.  It felt like I had bits of fishing line coming out of my skin, but they didn't do anything about them other telling me it wasn't a big deal. 

If you don't have any signs of infection, I don't think it would be a problem to wait until you see the PS next week to ask about the stitch. 

Initial BC dx with dcis & idc after lumpectomy & snb in 6/08. in 8/08 dx with multicentric bc (idc) after mri. had bilat mastecomy in 9/08 w/o reconstruction Dx 5/2008, DCIS, 2cm, Stage 0, Grade 3 Dx 6/2008, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 8/2008, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/19 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Left, Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left
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Nov 4, 2009 08:31PM TenderIsOurMight wrote:

Fellow stich spitter here too. No problem to just leave it in my experience, but if it's bothering you, cover it up until someone steady-handed can clip it close. No mirror surgery now, Suz.Foot in mouthLaughing
It cannot be emphasized too strongly that treatment of each patient is a highly individualized matter. (FDA-approved labeling for warfarin (Coumadin) NDA 9-218/5-105)
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Nov 4, 2009 09:06PM blondedoris wrote:

Heyas Suz

I had 5mm of stitch poking out - my GP trimmed it for me yesterday so it's not protruding as much. Think it's OK to leave it unless the area it's coming from gets infected. Mine was just annoying.


Who Dares Gins... Dx 9/9/2009, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/10 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 10/14/2009 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel Surgery 11/24/2009 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary Chemotherapy 12/22/2009 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Ellence (epirubicin), Fluorouracil (5-fluorouracil, 5-FU, Adrucil), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 5/17/2010 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 5/29/2010 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 1/30/2012 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 2/21/2012 Femara (letrozole) Surgery 6/20/2012 Prophylactic mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 11/8/2012 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Dx 12/5/2014, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone/lungs/other, Grade 3, 1/10 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Hormonal Therapy 12/16/2014 Aromasin (exemestane) Chemotherapy 1/11/2015 Navelbine (vinorelbine), Xeloda (capecitabine) Radiation Therapy 2/16/2015 Bone Chemotherapy 8/6/2015 Taxol (paclitaxel) Hormonal Therapy 3/7/2016 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 4/25/2016 External: Bone Chemotherapy 10/11/2016 Halaven (eribulin) Dx 5/8/2017, IDC, Left, Stage IV, metastasized to brain/bone/lungs, Grade 3, 1/10 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Nov 4, 2009 09:17PM chrisct wrote:

I had a piece of stitch sticking out at the end of my incision after the reexcision of my lumpectomy.  Curious about dissolving stitches, I looked it up and found this online: 

"­To your body, stitches are a foreign substance, and the body is programmed to destroy foreign substances. Dissolvable stitches are made from natural materials, such as processed collagen (animal intestines), silk and hair, as well as some synthetic materials that the body can break down. This allows the body to dissolve the stitches over time. Usually, by the time the stitches are dissolved, the wound is completely healed.

Occasionally, a stitch won't dissolve completely. This usually occurs when part of the stitch is left on the outside of the body. There, the body's fluids cannot dissolve and decompose the stitch, so it remains intact. A doctor can easily remove the remaining piece of stitch once the wound is closed. "    http://health.howstuffworks.com/question611.htm

I figured that once the stitching under the skin dissolved, the external piece would come off.  I'm a picker though, so I would occasionally tug at it to see if it was ready to come out/off.  Eventually, I was able to pull it out.  I'm very impatient.   I guess I'm a "mirror surgeon."   lol 

It did take a while to get to the point where it came out and I did have to pull on it a bit.  But my surgeon acted as though he didn't like dealing with me - didn't want to answer my questions etc. so I didn't dare go back to him about that stitch.  You have an appt next week, so I'm sure your surgeon or his nurse can take care of it for you then.

Dx 2/5/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Nov 4, 2009 10:33PM cookiegal wrote:

you all are so helpful..what would I do without this board!!!

You deserve a cookie!
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Nov 4, 2009 10:43PM - edited Nov 4, 2009 10:43PM by deborye

I'm sure you will be OK, it probably is the dissolving kind,  My incision was all healed and there was a few stitches sticking out.  When I gently tugged at them, they came out like a little whisker.

If you are still concerned, keep calling and bug the hell out of them.  They are working for you!!

What do you get when you mix PMS with GPS?

A Crazy Bitch the WILL Find You.Sealed

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Nov 4, 2009 10:50PM dani42 wrote:

Mine were dissolving stitches but after the mastectomy, they kept pushing their way out, usually at the end of the incision.  Two months after the exchange surgery, a stitch had worked it's way out and actually opened a small hole in the incision.  It bled and there was a bit of puss.  It closed up in a couple of days and has been fine since.  If you are nervous, call your doctor.

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Nov 5, 2009 07:04PM cookiegal wrote:

you called it right, stitch is at point where the two incisions meet. Dr's office says it's not unusual, and it can wait until next Wed.


You deserve a cookie!
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Nov 5, 2009 07:15PM lbrewer wrote:

MIne pop out all the time.  I just cover them up until I can get to the office.  Now the don't even make me get an appt.  O just call, go over and the nurse trims them off.  She said my husband could do it but I mentioned it and he turned VERY pale!

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Nov 9, 2009 06:40PM mawhinney wrote:

Some stitches just don't dissolve as they should.  I had some that popped up after 8 months. So much for quick dissolving stitches! Sometimes they fall off or I've given them a little tug. To be safe I dabbed a little antibiotic ointment over the area.  If the area shows signs of infection, contact your doctor.

Dx 5/18/2008, IDC, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Nov 13, 2009 07:00PM Sassa wrote:

I had dissolving sutures for my tissue expander surgery last June. The day after my outer stitches were removed, I saw a stitch sticking out of the incision.  I called the surgeon's office and they told me to just pull it out with tweezers. I did and, much to my surprise, a piece about 4 inches long pulled out.  Nothing fell down, fell off, or fell out so everything was fine.

Two days ago, 4 months after surgery, another tiny piece worked its way out of the scar.  I just pulled it out with a tweezers (about the length of a short eyelash).

I go in for my exchange surgery on Dec 10 and start the process all over again.

Dx 11/6/2006, IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/9 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+

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