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Q.

What happens when you get stitches?

Related Topics: Stitches
 

Answers From Experts & Organizations (1)

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A.

Once a health care provider has assessed your injury and determined that you need stitches, the first steps he or she will take in treating the wound are to clean and numb the area, though not necessarily in that order. Although cleaning a wound is not very painful in most cases, the doctor may first administer a local anesthetic, similar to what your dentist might use, to maximize your comfort. If your injury seems particularly contaminated, however, cleansing it -- usually with running tap water and a mild soap -- may be a higher priority.

Once the area is numb, the doctor will take a closer look to make sure there’s no dirt, debris, or other foreign objects inside the cut before sewing it together. An X-ray may also be ordered to help look for remaining debris. If you cut yourself on a piece of glass or sharp metal, for instance, it’s crucial to ensure that there are no remaining shards inside the cut.

The doctor may remove any dead tissues to help the healing process. He or she will then pull the edges of the cut together and, for each stitch, loop thread through either side of the cut and tie a knot to hold the wound closed.

Doctors can use different types of surgical thread made from materials such as silk or nylon, which may be in single filaments or braided. There's even surgical thread that is designed to dissolve over time so that the stitches don’t need to be removed. These are used most frequently in deep cuts.

This answer should not be considered medical advice...down arrowThis answer should not be considered medical advice and should not take the place of a doctor’s visit. Please see the bottom of the page for more information or visit our Terms and Conditions.up arrow

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Archived: March 20, 2014

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Read the Original Article: Getting Stitches (Sutures)