Wiki conflict - How long to keep stitches?

edited August 2015 in Magnets
There are two post-procedure care sections on the wiki and they have conflicting advice on aftercare for stitches. One says 3-5 days and the other is 5-10 days before removal. That's a wide spread. Do magnets have a longer "keep suture in" time than other implants? At this point what does experience and consensus of the knowledgeable group says is the best answer?
"Stitches are a hard thing to give an exact timeline for. They can come out anywhere between 3-5 days later but this is problematic. The longer you leave them in, the larger chance of infection. The less time, the larger chance it'll rip open and you can lose the magnet. So about 4 days but judge it based on how you're healing. Keep the wound very clean and you should be fine."
"By day five, if you've kept your incision clean and dry and haven't put any pressure on your wound, you could probably get away with removing the suture. My advice is to actually wait ten days if possible. Keep a close eye on the site. After day 5, tug on the suture a bit after irrigating it to make sure that the insertion sites are free of infection. If the suture sites begin to get red or if you see any exudate it's better to take the suture out."


  • I used liquid stitches on mine, but it come off at around day 4 and everything was closed up and awesome. I would say 3-5 days is right. You could just combine them and go "3-10 day depending on agitation and personal preference"
  • I'd agree with 3-5. It all depends on individual healing, but I think that 5-10 is based on recommended procedure for other suture use; it's not an uncommon time, but is likely to be counterproductive in this particular case (fingertip magnet implants).
  • For a suture, no more than 5. Superglue can stay on longer
  • I was told 7-10 days by multiple people when I had implants done, both by the piercer and professional nurses. I've stitches removed on days 7 and 9, for different implants, and had no problems.
  • For something this small no more than 5. For something that need more stitches, you wait longer. At this size if it hasn't closed enough to take the stitch out by 5 then ya leave it but you probably have bigger problems. Every time i've been stiched up by a doc it's always been 5-7 days an that was for things that needed 3-5 stitches. One itty bitty stitch shouldn't need more than 5. But use your best judgment. Everyone heals differnetly 
  • edited August 2015
    i was told to keep it in 7 days as well.

    i'd also like to say that you should always use a suture when you implant a magnet.  superglue is inferior in every way, dont waste your time.  you're already slicing your finger open so just go with the suture.
  • On the site I found (, it's recommended that you keep stitches in the hands and arms in for 5-10 days.
  • What I generally advise is 3-5 days. The reason being that I've only ever seen one person split open their incision after initial closure.. but I've seen infection. A steristrip isn't as good as a suture in that it doesn't assist in approximation of edges to the same degree and you can't visualize edges. The only indicator that a procedure happened should be the bump of the magnet. Good suture work can eliminate visible scarring. However.. as long as you aren't overdoing it, steristrips are strong enough to prevent the wound from reopening. By day 2 or 3, if you've been cautious, the wound edges should be sealed together and the suture can be removed. The longer the sutures stay in, the more likely one is to get an infection. They work like little wicks sucking in moisture.
  • Some suture stuff:

    As a suture 101, sutures are a variable form of wound mending. They are intended to be done on a sliding scale depending on wound depth, and in cases of trauma multiple levels of sutures can be used (aka - in modern times there can be subdermal levels of sutures using biodegradable materials as well as a transdermal layer that may or may not dissolve on it's own). While being an exceedingly old practice, they are also considered somewhat of an "art form" to place and implement properly. An improper suture is generally worse than no suture, and can cause long-term drawbacks. For anyone interested in fine motor control (let alone using a suture on a living organism), I strongly recommend practicing the technique. I haven't done a "real" one in years, and I'll still break out some junk cuts of meat for practice.

    The duration that a non-dissoluble suture being left in is dependent on many factors: cleanliness of the original wound, depth of the wound, placement of the wound, aftercare of the wound, etc. For the given example of a fingertip implant, you are looking at the low end of the scale for duration. I'll say flat out that doctors will go on the high end of the scale because there is often no drawback other than cosmetic or irritation. A properly cared for suture on a finger is at the very low end of the scale, and is likely to only be lengthened by biological affinities.

    While I wouldn't recommend that these be taken out after 3 days, 5 days should be plenty of time barring any complications. These should be readily apparent to anyone qualified to perform a suture on another human, and in a short version: the wound should be free of any irritation or healing stress on the seam itself and otherwise present as a superficial injury well under the process of healing without adhesive bandages.

    As a usual disclaimer, I am not (quite) a doctor, all of this information is variable, please don't sue me.
  • edited August 2015
    I modified both sections to reflect the range and some language about "it depends on you, your healing power and your ability to keep the wound clean". Linked the magnet section back to the main page of after-care.

    Thanks everyone!
  • What's your opinion on skin staplers? I've used those before, and they're easy enough to do one handed.
  • I don't have much of an opinion on them, as I've only used them a couple times. A general consensus is that they serve a different purpose than sutures, so the decision to use one or the other is more based on the wound you're closing. They do require less skill than sutures, so they're a more "available" option in that regard, but tbf putting a suture one-handed is easier than people make it out to be.

    I'm more trying to think of applications where staples would be equal if not preferential to sutures... Certainly not fingers. Something pacemaker sized... why not. They're almost certainly not going to come out as cosmetically pleasing as well performed, cared for, and removed sutures; a general side effect is that it's going to be more irritating during the healing process and this could stay afterwards depending on how well (or not) they were used.

    Also they're costlier than sutures and require more overhead in procurement, storage and sanitation. Worlds more expensive than a disposable suture kit, let alone anyone who spends a couple bucks on a used autoclave.

    So I don't have any words against them, I just don't know why you'd really want to prefer them.
  • They generally aren't used on hands or face. Id worry about hitting the magnet as well. If you do go that route chose a model using titanium staples. Otherwise the mag will be attracted to it. I've got a few surgical staplers around somewhere, but I haven't had a good excuse to use them
  • I know that this is very late, but I want to go ahead and add in my little bit of knowledge. A cousin of mine who is a fire fighter simply suggest using butterfly bandages and maintaining the wound. It leaves a lot less scaring than stiches or staples, and whenever it is safe to do so we just use them instead. It has worked well for us even for quite major cuts (about a cm deep into a family members pinky). We aren't idiots so we do put proper bandages and such above the butterfly bandages and change it out daily checking for signs of infection, and keeping it clean.
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