Absorbable Suture Repair

Absorbable sutures (stitches) hold skin together so you can heal. Keep skin wounds clean and dry for the next 2 to 3 days. Then, you may gently wash your wound and dress it with an antibiotic ointment as recommended. As your wound begins to heal, the sutures are no longer needed, and they typically begin to fall off. This will take 7 to 10 days. After 10 days, if your sutures are loose, you can remove them by wiping with a clean gauze pad or a cotton ball. Do not pull your sutures out. They should wipe away easily. If after 10 days they do not easily wipe away, have your caregiver take them out. Absorbable sutures may be used deep in a wound to help hold it together. If these stitches are below the skin, the body will absorb them completely in 3 to 4 weeks.

You may need a tetanus shot if:

  • You cannot remember when you had your last tetanus shot.

  • You have never had a tetanus shot.

If you get a tetanus shot, your arm may swell, get red, and feel warm to the touch. This is common and not a problem. If you need a tetanus shot and you choose not to have one, there is a rare chance of getting tetanus. Sickness from tetanus can be serious.


  • You have redness in the wound area.

  • The wound area feels hot to the touch.

  • You develop swelling in the wound area.

  • You develop pain.

  • There is fluid drainage from the wound.