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Dissolvable Stitches: How Long Will They Last?

Dissolvable Stitches: How Long Will They Last?

Pregnancy scars are marks of your strength. And hence should not be frowned upon. While they may not look great in the beginning, with consistent effort and care, they will diminish over time. A scar is formed after a horizontal incision is made during a Lower Segment Caesarean Section (LSCS) procedure. The incision is then closed with sterile threads or dissolvable stitches to help the C-section heal.

In this article, we talk about what an LSCS scar is, how it forms, dissolvable stitches, how to take care of them, and what possible complications can arise if you have these stitches.

What is an LSCS scar?

LSCS is short for Lower Segment Cesarean Section. This means an incision is made at the bottom of the uterus, horizontally. When the abdominal incision leaves the skin open, doctors typically use either staples or dissolvable stitches to close the incision. Once this incision heals, it leaves a scar.

Typically, an incision is four to six inches long. This is wide and long enough to get the baby’s head out. During an LSCS, most commonly a dissolvable stitch is used depending on how deep the cut is. The healing of an LSCS scar thus formed also depends on your body.

In general, it will take six weeks to three months to heal.

What are dissolvable stitches and their use?

Dissolvable stitches or absorbable sutures are used to close wounds or incisions made inside the body. They are made of raw materials that are absorbed into the skin, though these stitches are still treated as foreign objects. Your immune system plays a part in dissolving these stitches by generating an inflammatory response that eliminates the sutures.

Some common ingredients that dissolvable stitches are made of are animal intestines and synthetic polymer materials.

When a surgeon makes an incision, they are not only cutting your skin but also the fat beneath and possibly the tissues involved. While dissolvable stitches are commonly used internally to close an incision, doctors prefer using them externally as well in the case of a C-section. In a way, they are used both on the skin and under it as well.

Different dissolvable stitches vary in strength and healing time can vary for every mother. This recovery period depends on your nutrition intake, existing medical conditions (if any), and how well your body absorbs what you feed it.

While some stitches take 10 days to dissolve, others may take six months to do the same job. This also keys in factors like what sutures your surgeon prefers, the strength of the stitch to support the incision made, and how your body reacts to the same.

Why are dissolvable stitches preferred over non-dissolvable stitches?

Dissolvable stitches are used to close wounds or cuts inside as well as outside the body in the case of a C-section. As these stitches will dissolve on their own within 10 days, you don’t need to visit your doctor.

On the other hand, non-dissolvable stitches are more difficult for the body to break down. They are usually used for superficial wounds. These are wounds that occur on the surface of the skin but leave the inner layers undamaged. Non-dissolvable stitches would require frequent visits to the doctor.

How to take care of dissolvable stitches?

Here are some basic tips that can help you take care of your dissolvable stitches after an LSCS:

  1. While taking a shower, wash them gently with soap water. Do not rub them in an attempt to clean them. Do not use harsh soap to lather directly. It is important to maintain the cleanliness of your dissolvable stitches, or else you can get a skin infection that will leave a worse scar.
  2. Pat dry the incision area carefully. Use a towel or cotton cloth. Do not use synthetics as they do not tend to dry the moist body parts.
  3. Get your dressing changed as advised by the doctor.
  4. Do not take baths in public pools until your wound heals. This will only attract more infection.
  5. Since an incision is made in the lower abdominal region, restrict activities that will stretch this area unnecessarily. Especially sex, running, pilates, or yoga. Wait till your body heals.
  6. Wear airy clothes. Air promotes healing and wearing tight clothes will only make the pain worse.

What complications can arise due to dissolvable stitches?

As mentioned above, you are extremely prone to skin infections if proper care is not taken. Remember to keep the dissolvable stitches clean and dry at all times. Do not apply foreign creams without asking your doctor.

Some common signs and symptoms of an infection are:

  • Swelling in the area
  • Redness
  • Throbbing, uncontrollable pain
  • Foul smell from the incision
  • Fever
  • Pus coming out of the stitches

You can also sometimes feel the stitches if you touch the skin constantly. Refrain yourself from doing that as you are disturbing its recovery time. If the stitches are poking on your clothes, this means they are healing, leave them alone, and do not play with them.

Consult your doctor to make sure how far you have gotten in the healing process.

How can you diminish a scar after these stitches?

  1. Scar massages help once the stitches have completely healed and you cannot feel any pain . Massages increase blood circulation and applying gentle pressure on your scar can help it to eventually minimize. You can use vitamin E or silicone gels for the same.
  2. Avoid direct contact with the sun. This will only deepen the scar’s appearance. Use sunscreen whenever stepping out.
  3. There are various laser therapies that can help too. Even though this is an expensive way to diminish the scar, high beam lights can soften the scar’s appearance. Going for multiple sittings may help you almost get rid of it.
  4. Silicone sheets and gels are known to decrease the scar. This is because silicone has restorative qualities that can strengthen the connective skin tissue. It will also help flatten the scar.

Now that you know everything about dissolvable stitches after a C-section, don’t fail to take care. Immediately speak to your doctor if there’s an infection, if your stitch breaks due to unprecedented activity, or if you feel that the scar is poking consistently.

Learn more about Medical Procedures here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

How Long Does It Take for Dissolvable Stitches to Dissolve?/https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/c-section-scar/Accessed on 10/04/2020
How to Care for Dissolvable Stitches/https://www.verywellhealth.com/what-are-absorbable-sutures-3156838/Accessed on 10/04/2020
What to know about dissolvable stitches/https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325297/Accessed on 10/04/2020

How long will my stitches (sutures) take to dissolve?/https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/accidents-first-aid-and-treatments/how-long-will-my-stitches-sutures-take-to-dissolve/Accessed on 10/04/2020

 

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Written by Nikita Bhalla Updated 4 weeks ago
Fact Checked by Hello Doctor Medical Panel
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