Main Article on Removing Stitches (Sutures) Question: How was your experience having your stitches removed? Submit Your Comment Comment from: Mejar, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: September 11 I had my stitches removed from my elbow12 days post-surgery. I only had a very slight pain. Comment from: BrokenAnkle94, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: September 03 I had my stitches removed today, two weeks after breaking my ankle and needing surgery. A few days ago I made the mistake of stumbling upon this thread and being terrified of other people's experiences. I then spent the days leading to today very anxious about the procedure. To give some hope to the people out there waiting to have their own stitches removed, mine didn't hurt at all. If anything, it was slightly uncomfortable for a second or two. Don't despair! Comment from: Sue, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 21 I had a nose job and one week later the doctor pulled the stitches out. It hurt so bad that I made a loud “ouch” so many times that the doctor was mad at me. I don't understand why they don't give a pain pill 30 minutes before the procedure or put some numbing jelly! If one starts than all others follow. Comment from: LinG, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 12 I had a mole above my left breast which was changing. The doctor cut it out. He only kept the stitches on 5 days, which was a mistake because my breast pulled on it and enlarged the wound. He had me sit in a chair, he sat on a stool with legs wide open. When he cut and yanked the first stitch, I wasn't expecting the pain of the yank and kneed him between his legs. He was quickly in more pain than me and left for a bit. He was more cautious afterwards. Comment from: elderly mom!, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: August 12 I had upper eyelid surgery 9 days ago and yesterday the sutures were removed. It hurt terribly! But then again, your eyelids are sensitive. Ouch. Comment from: m.ellen, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: July 18 I am a very elderly lady, and had stitches in the inner upper leg. Pain is unbearable trying to get stitches out after a small operation. I could not believe the pain so had to leave it for a couple of days. Will maybe ask on bended knees for injection first. Very, very fragile skin. Comment from: Aya, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 15 I had stitches removed after 10 days in my hand after a stab wound. I cried my eyes out due to the pain, the surgeon and nurse acted like I was overreacting. The pain of the stitches in between my fingers where the webbing is, was brutal. Doctor told me I must have a low pain threshold and if I found stitches removal painful maybe I didn't have as much nerve pain as I say I do. Pitiful. Comment from: PandaFrenzy, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: July 01 Actually I looked up this thread about 2 minutes before I was about to get stitches taken out of my ankle and the top of my foot from a fractured tibia repair. Based on the comments here I expected way worse but still it was not painless by any means. The 2 on the top of my foot I barely felt much, a little pinch. Down the side of my ankle though was painful, still wouldn't say it was extreme pain but the last one was really long and stuck so she took it out in 2 parts. I'd say 5/10 overall as far as pain. Comment from: Clumsy, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: June 19 I had 4 stitches removed from my chin after a dog bite. The removal process didn't hurt at all. I felt a little tugging, but other than that it was basically painless and quick. Comment from: Suture-self, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: June 18 No issues! Five stitches were taken out of the tip of my finger holding my nail together. I read these reviews and panic set in; for nothing. A little pinch, slight tug, and done. Each one was easier than the last as she started with the toughest one (through my nail). Relax! You'll be fine. It took all of 5 minutes (including preparation and chit chat after). Comment from: LadyBree, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: June 06 I am glad to have found this site. I had a piece of glass cut my leg and it required 7 stitches. When it was time to get my stitches out 10 days later the area wasn't red or hurt that much, so I was told the stitches removal would be painless. Spoiler alert, it wasn't. It hurt so badly that I was bawling my eyes out. The nurse who took them out said I was being a baby and that it shouldn't hurt. I'm glad to see other people had pain and it wasn't just me being dramatic. QUESTION Emotional trauma is best described as a psychological response to a deeply distressing or life-threatening experience. See Answer Comment from: shoes4jack, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: May 23 I have had a repair for a ruptured Achilles tendon and recently had 18 stitches after almost cutting my finger off with electric hedge trimmers. I have been told my pain tolerance is high and shed no tears during either accident. The removal of the stitches is a different story. Each one felt like a tiny horribly painful paper cut. I let him take out 8 of the 18 and couldn't take anymore. There has to be something I can take before getting the last 10 removed. Comment from: CarpeeDame, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: May 06 I had my stitches (4) removed today from carpal tunnel surgery, 16 days post operation. I was pretty pain free up until today. While the actual stitch removal didn't hurt too much, it did hurt. There was tugging on the unhealed skin, sometimes it got stuck so he had to tug harder. It was relatively fast so I took it well. However now I'm in pain, I had to take medicines! I'm in a lot of pain, soreness and rawness. Maybe it is aggravating the incision with all that tugging. I have to use Scar-away for 2 months. Comment from: dgard, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 01 I had carpal tunnel surgery done on my right hand in January of this year, 12 days later I went to remove the stitches and I, as many of you shared, have a very high pain tolerance level. Let me tell you it was the most excruciating pain - the lady removing them could tell that the skin in the middle underneath the skin had closed which is why they couldn't get the stitch all out. Surgeons of course should be able to numb these areas or let someone stitch them and let them see how it feels. Comment from: CBN, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: March 28 I had about 4 sutures removed by a nurse yesterday. I had right collar bone surgery 12 days prior. Alcohol was used. It was extremely painful. I don't have a high tolerance of pain, but didn't think it was going to hurt like that. Felt like my skin was being pulled apart. Comment from: Healing Tee, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 22 I think that I died and came back to life. It was horrible and very painful having 13 staples and 15 stitches removed after ankle surgery. I would not wish this on my worst enemy! Comment from: Michael , 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: March 19 I had a dog bite 2 weeks ago. Yow, it really hurt, the doctor had to put 6 stitches in my palm near my thumb, and he gave me a needle to help with the stitching. Dear me, that needle was so bad and the stinging was horrific. But the stitching was fine, a little pulling but no pain, and I had to go back to the doctors 2 days ago, and please don't tell me they don't hurt. They do heaps. I had to leave 3 stitches in because it was hurting so much. Going back in two days to try again, he told me to soak in warm water first. Comment from: HN, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: January 10 I had my stitches removed today (12 days post operation) from my ankle surgery and it almost knocked me out. I have a high pain tolerance from being a college athlete but once he got to the second stitch I almost fainted (literally). The pain almost matched the surgery. I had 2 layers of stitches and a very in-depth surgery. I'm glad I'm not alone! My doctor said it doesn't hurt that much. Well, I had news for him. I had to bite my lip just to allow him to do his job. Comment from: Maggi, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: September 20 A dog bit the end of my thumb off, it was reattached and the stitches were removed 12 days later. It was the most painful thing I have ever experienced. The nurse even got upset, my hand was swollen, and the stitches were tight. If ever I had to go through that again I'd run a mile. Comment from: Scarlett, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 31 I have had my eye stitches removed today, it was the most horrific pain I have ever felt in my life. The pain shot through my eye, my face and I went dizzy and screamed in agony then started to cry. My face is still hurting on the same side right down to the jaw, and painkillers are not touching it. I have had several eye operations for detached retina, and never felt pain like this before. Comment from: Fred Flintstone, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 17 Ok, I am glad I found this site because I had stitches removed from a toe yesterday and it was horribly painful. As others on this site have mentioned I too have a very high pain threshold, but after about 3, I couldn't take it as the practitioner grabbed and grabbed at the last one unsuccessfully. I asked for a topical which really didn't help. I asked to do the last one on a different day but finally agreed to let a different practitioner give it a go, and he managed it well. SLIDESHOW 8 First Aid Kit Essentials for Scrapes, Cuts, Bug Bites, and More in Pictures See Slideshow Comment from: [email protected], 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: August 10 Suture removal was painful on ear where Mohs was done followed by skin graft 7 days later. Ear was still painful to touch. I dug in my heels and gritted my teeth. The staff said they don't numb for suture removal. Comment from: Danielle M, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 05 I had a partial vulvectomy that required 22 stitches. Having these stitches removed 9 days later was one of the most painful experiences of my life. I nearly passed out from the pain. I was still experiencing a great deal of discomfort in the area as it was, so I am not sure if this was part of the problem. The nurse stated that my stitches were deep in the tissue which made removal difficult. Whatever the reason, I hope to never have to go through it ever again. Comment from: Fatima, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: June 15 I had a bad experience with a nurse at a plastic surgeon's rooms in Australia. In Europe and the USA the actual surgeon removes them, after all, he put them in. No Xylocaine, no Entonox. I think they must be accustomed to working with cadavers. The external sutures removed following an open rhinoplasty felt like I was having my face ripped off. No aftercare at all. It is all about the money. Generally speaking, I have not found the plastic surgeons to provide good patient aftercare at all. Comment from: Abymom15, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 13 Absolutely horrible! Like the Middle Ages! The doctor told me no one had pain in 30 years of doing feet! I have stitches on 8 toes for hammertoes. It feels like they are putting a cigarette out on my toe when they remove stitches. They have no topical sprays or any laughing gas, it is punishment. Comment from: Zeesers, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: May 02 I had a neurofibroma mass blocking a nerve in the arch of my foot. I had 4 stitches removed today and it was so painful! The nurse acted like it was a strange thing that I was in pain. Also I can barely walk on it now than with the stitches in! I hope this is normal. Comment from: Beth, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: December 12 I had upper and lower eyelid surgery. After one week virtually pain free, I went to have the stitches removed. I have had stitches before. It was the most painful experience that took almost an hour. The surgeon has never had this issue. I was sweating, crying and covering my mouth to keep from screaming. She had to cut them in sections to remove. No articles really explain what happened. I think perhaps they were in too long. I am in excellent health and heal well. I am annoyed that no attempt was made to numb the area to save me so much pain. Comment from: Anti, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 13 In 1991 I had to have a cervical discectomy of C5 to C7. During the surgery the chief resident said for some reason I somehow lost 3 liters of blood (1 pint less than your total blood volume). Prior to making the incision in my neck they removed the bone graft for the fusion. At that time they put my head in a halo to stabilize my neck for the time being. Ironically, they threw my graft away admitting they really were losing me and there was not much sense saving it. Well, thank goodness I did make it. They put me in ICU on Christmas Eve. I was 34 years old then. Last year at the left halo site all my skin fell off the hole and I pulled out a V shaped piece of stitching. This year again on the left side I get large eruptions that are full of thick, white matter. Below is a very tight stitch that is connected very tightly to both ends. My doctor has cut one of them but as of today I have cut 37 stitches all over the left side of my head. My question is why they would stitch in this manner and why it would take 25 years to erupt. Comment from: mjackson501, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: June 26 I had an accidental cut on the tip of my finger that required 5 stitches. Let me just say whoever said the removal of them is painless must have not ever had them. I have a very high pain level tolerance and the numbing shots even take an unusually high amount to work for me. It took 8 shots just to numb the finger tip for her to initially clean, reattach, and close my wound. When they took them out it seemed like it had some numbness in it as I could barely feel the girl cleaning it. Boy, was I wrong! I was squirming around in pain every time she clipped one. They said it was because there are so many nerves in the affected area. But I imagine it would be just as painful anywhere else. I will say though that as soon as it was done I had a lot less pain than I did before she even started to remove them. Comment from: Eileen, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 06 I went to have stitches removed from upper and lower eye lid surgery. The nurse got 2 taken on one eye and as I found it unbearably painful she went to the other eye and removed one. I felt myself getting hotter and hotter and thought that I was going to faint. I had to walk out as I could not tolerate it and feeling very weak and faint with about 40 more stitches in total to take out. I don't know what to do I am so nervous. Comment from: joan, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 10 I had approximately 25 stitches removed after wrist surgery to remove a cyst. Twenty of them didn't hurt, but the other five, the pain was the worst I have ever felt. Now I still get that horrible pain in my wrist even if I'm not moving it. I don't understand. Comment from: Ouch, 7-12 Female (Caregiver) Published: May 15 In December I stepped on glass and it hurt. Obviously the glass that was seen in my foot was removed, but the glass that wasn't seen was still in my foot, but I didn't know it until I was getting horrible foot pains. I told my mom and she took me to get an x-ray to see if I had extra glass in my foot; turns out I did. So I went to a doctor and she said it was too deep to take out in the office so I had to get surgery. Now Just last week I took the stitches out and it hurt a lot I almost cried. Comment from: Kmcc, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: August 09 I've had my stitches out for two months now but I'm still getting sensation that a stitch is still in. Comment from: Moore, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 23 I had surgery on my back and now after reading your comments am afraid to have my stitches removed. Comment from: Kussum, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: April 12 I wonder if there is any spray or medicine to save myself having from stitches removed. Comment from: umran, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: September 15 I have had stitches to close a wound injury to a deep cut in my thumb. It was very nasty, I could see straight through to the inside of my cut. I have a scar left for a long time I want to remove the scar. Comment from: Made4U2Wonder, Female (Patient) Published: November 25 I was in such pain getting my pins removed from hammer toe and bunion surgery that the doctor wouldn't remove my stitches. Instead he gave me a prescription for valium and rescheduled me for another day. I can't believe they remove the pins routine without a shot of something. I begged and pleaded after the first pin. But he proceeded to remove all 3 as I screamed. Comment from: gallus, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: March 26 I too had the super extreme level of pain reported by the other writers in this thread. After hand surgery, all stitches but one were removed with not much pain. The last one was at a level of pain that was so horrific that I could not tolerate the stitch even being touched. What bothers me most is that everyone behaves as if this is unheard of. But there must be an explanation, and surely there must be a way of dealing with the problem. Even on this page, nobody has spoken up to explain what is happening and what to do about it. Comment from: missybrat, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: May 22 I had carpal and cubital tunnel surgery. I did not have pain from the surgery until they took the stitches out. I have never had that kind of pain. There was no numbing agent used. If you have to have stitches taken out, I would suggest either: 1. Ask for a sedative or 2. Ask for the area to be numbed. Comment from: jvcarey, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: August 21 Currently I am having stiches removed from the sole of my foot. I week go, 8 were removed, I cried like a big baby, the experience was extremely painful. Today I went back and he was about to remove the rest and I said no. So we are scheduled to remove them in 2 weeks, I am going to take oral sedation first. Comment from: 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: May 30 I had stitches removed from my left forefinger after a wide cut with scissors. The removal was extremely painful! I hope to never experience it again. Comment from: pshire, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: February 21 I recently had stitches removed and the procedure was quite painful. No numbing agent was used. The doctor cut the stitches and pulled them out. The site felt less pressure once the stitches were removed. Comment from: LOCHFYNE, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 27 I was told that there would be no pain in removing five stitches. The reason I had them is because a dermatologist removed a mole on my arm. The biopsy of the mole had revealed atypical cells, hence the removal. I was disappointed that it wasn't the dermatologist who removed the stitches. Instead, it was a really young girl, presumably a nurse. Two stitches were painful when she removed them. She didn't believe me, however, and simply said that I had a low pain threshold! She even told me that NOBODY has pain getting stitches out. AND, that I was thinking too much about it. I will not return to this dermatologist. As for low pain threshold, I didn't even take pain medication after the mole had been removed. Comment from: 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: December 13 Suture removal from my breast augmentation and tummy tuck were horribly painful. Comment from: Hurting Helen, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 18 My experience was nightmarish and had to be rescheduled to come back three days later because the pain was so intense. I was also told to soak the foot with the stitches in in with warm water to soften the area. I'm really worried because I was hoping to return to work soon. Comment from: guinea pig, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 26 I have a high pain tolerance but when the stitches and 3 pins were removed from my foot 1 month after hammer toe surgery the pain was off the charts and threw my body into trauma. No anesthetic was used. I still have two pins in my toe that have yet to be removed and my anxiety level is extreme. I am calling the doctor today to make sure that I am not put through anymore barbaric procedures.