What are Stitches? Why They are Important?
While most cuts and scrapes heal on their own, deep cuts and incisions require stitches or sutures to hold tissues together while they heal.
Stitching is thousands years old practice as it is found mention in ancient scriptures. An ancient Egyptian mummy dates back to 1100 B.C. is the oldest survival evidence of the suture in ancient civilisation.
Suture promotes wound healing and improves the wounded tissue appearance. The stitches are removed once the tissues fuse back together.
How to Know If a Cut Need Stitches?
It is not easy to tell if a cut need stitches as it has the tendency to heal on its own. If you are not sure whether your cut need stitches or not, considering these signs may be useful:
- If a cut is jagged, deep while there is noticeable gap between the tissues
- If a cut is on the face or other body part where it can lead to a scar
- If it feels numb
- If it is difficult to move your hand or limb properly after a cut.
- If the bleeding is uncontrollable.
If you are having one of these signs, you must seek medical assistance immediately to avoid serious risks. Keep you injured body part in elevated position, above the heart if possible.
How Stitching is Done?
First of all, a physician will assess your injury or cut to know if it needs stitches. Meanwhile, he cleans the wound and numbs the area. A doctor will use a local anesthetic if cleaning the wound hurts the patient. He can advise you to wash the cut with running tap water and a mild soap.
Once he numbs the area, a doctor is likely to check your wound for the dirt, debris and other foreign objects inside before sewing it together. He can order for an X-Ray test to look for remaining debris. For example, if the cut is caused by a piece of glass or sharp metal, a physician will make sure there is no remaining debris inside the cut.
Thereafter, he or she pulls out the edges of the wound together and secure the closure by the stitches followed by the knot. A surgical thread will be dissolved over time.
You should follow the instructions provided by your physician or nurse to care for stitches. These instructions generally include cleaning and dressing to be done at wounded area. You must keep the stitched area and the bandages dry. Use the antibiotic ointment given by your doctor to avoid catching infection. Watch for the signs of infections which may be high fever or red steak on the skin near the stitched spot. See your physician immediately if you notice stitches pop or break.
Duration of Stitches:
Duration of the stitches is determined by the body area, severity of the wound, age and medical condition of the patient. Your doctor will inform you when to come back for the removal of the stitches. You should never try to remove the stitches yourself.
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