Minor scrapes rarely require a trip to a walk-in clinic, unless an infection develops. But if you sustain a laceration that won’t stop bleeding, you probably need stitches. Stitches, or sutures, hold the edges of the wound together to stop the bleeding and facilitate healing. The urgent care doctor can answer any questions you have about sutures, including the following:
Do I Need Stitches?
Applying direct pressure to a wound should stop the bleeding within 20 minutes or so. If the bleeding doesn’t stop, you might need stitches. Other indicators that sutures are needed include:
- The area is numb
- The wound is on the face
- The wound is jagged
- The body part doesn’t function normally
What Do Stitches Feel Like?
You shouldn’t feel any pain when you receive stitches. The doctor will thoroughly numb the area first, and you’ll feel a pinch from the needle used to inject the anesthetic. After that, you should only feel a slight tugging sensation as the sutures are placed.
How Are Sutures Placed?
Contrary to popular belief, doctors do not apply stitches in an unbroken line. Each stitch is placed individually. This way, if one suture becomes looser or tighter, it won’t affect any of the others. Don’t cut the ends of the stitches, as these are used to remove the stitches later.
Can a Sutured Wound Still Get Infected?
Yes. Germs are microscopic and can pass through the smallest of cuts in the skin. Follow your doctor’s instructions for cleaning the wound. You’ll likely be asked to wash it gently twice per day, apply antibiotic ointment, and put on a fresh dressing. Avoid saturating the wound with water. You may shower, but pat the wound dry right afterward and replace the bandage.
How Long Will the Stitches Stay In?
It depends on the laceration, but sutures are usually left in place for a few days up to a couple of weeks. The removal of stitches doesn’t hurt—you won’t even need a local anesthetic.
Paramount Urgent Care is a leading destination for high-quality, compassionate medical care in Orlando. Our four locations treat all types of non-life-threatening, acute injuries, and illnesses—from lacerations to food poisoning. Please visit our contact us page to see our walk-in clinic location near you or call 352-674-9218.