Suture Size, Location and Removal Timing

  1. General
    1. Superficial facial lesions: 6-0 nylon
    2. Other superficial skin lesions
      1. Low skin tension areas: 5-0 nylon
      2. Higher skin tension areas: 4-0 nylon
  2. Annotation for Suture size indications below
    1. Skin: Superficial monofilament Nonabsorbable Suture
    2. Deep: Dermal Absorbable Sutures
  3. Size O: Largest Suture
  4. Size 2-O
  5. Size 3-O
    1. Skin: Foot
    2. Deep: Chest, Abdomen, Back
  6. Size 4-O
    1. Skin: Scalp, Chest, Abdomen, Foot, Extremity
    2. Deep: Scalp, Extremity, Foot
  7. Size 5-O
    1. Skin: Scalp, Brow, Oral, Chest, Abdomen, Hand, Penis
    2. Deep: Brow, Nose, Lip, Face, Hand
  8. Size 6-O
    1. Skin: Ear, Lid, Brow, Nose, Lip, Face, Penis
  9. Size 7-O: Smallest Suture
    1. Skin: Eyelid, Lip, Face

Background: Suture indications by location (see Suture types above)

  1. Mucosal Lacerations (mouth, Tongue or genitalia)
    1. Absorbable Suture: 3-0 or 4-0
  2. Scalp, Torso (chest, back, Abdomen), Extremities
    1. Superficial Nonabsorbable Suture: 4-O or 5-O
    2. Deep Absorbable Suture: 3-O or 4-O
  3. Face, Eyebrow, Nose, Lip
    1. Superficial Nonabsorbable Suture: 6-O
    2. Deep Absorbable Suture: 5-O
  4. Ear, Eyelid
    1. Superficial Nonabsorbable Suture: 6-O
  5. Hand
    1. Superficial Nonabsorbable Suture: 5-O
    2. Deep Absorbable Suture: 5-O
  6. Foot or sole
    1. Superficial Nonabsorbable Suture: 3-O or 4-O
    2. Deep Absorbable Suture: 4-O
  7. Penis
    1. Superficial Nonabsorbable Suture: 5-O or 6-O

Background: Suture Removal Timing

  1. Scalp: 10 days
  2. Face, Ear, Eyebrow, Nose, Lip: 5 days
    1. Follow with papertape or steristrips
  3. Eyelid: 3 days
  4. Chest and Abdomen: 8-10 days
  5. Back: 12-14 days (10-12 days in children)
  6. Extremities: 10-14 days (8-10 days in children)
  7. Hand: 10-14 days
  8. Foot and sole: 12-14 days (8-10 days in children)
  9. Penis: 8-10 days
  10. Condition delaying Wound Healing: 14 to 21 days
    1. Chronic Corticosteroid use
    2. Diabetes Mellitus

Purchase a suture kit here

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