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How Many Internal Stitches Do I Have after Hysterectomy?

From the Hysterectomy Recovery Articles List

Internal Stitches after HysterectomyHow many internal stitches do I have?

Only your surgical team knows for sure how many internal stitches you have following your hysterectomy, and that is only if they were all counted. There are several variables that dictate the number of stitches including your surgeon’s personal technique, your anatomy, and the type of hysterectomy. Here at HysterSisters.com, some women have shared that they were told by their surgeons that they had hundreds of stitches, while others were told they had only a few.

One of the reasons for the difference in number involves the tools a surgeon uses. In some cases, more cauterizing than stitching is done during surgery. And rather than a needle and thread type material that creates multiple individual stitches, surgeon sometimes opt for a tool or technique that creates more of a continuous suture.

Multiple internal stitches may also be used in the vaginal cuff, which is created to close the vagina after a complete or total hysterectomy. Additionally, there can be internal stitches in an abdominal hysterectomy, as each layer can be closed with a different type of suture. Internal stitches may also be used when there are repairs, complications, and/or additional work done along with the hysterectomy.

These internal stitches can be made using a wide variety of materials and methods, and they are usually absorbable. At times, surgeons may also use clips at the end of a suture line; these clips are dissolvable as well. Absorbable stitches and sutures are intended to be naturally broken down and then dissolved. When this happens, you may experience some discharge, notice an odor, and even see some of the remaining pieces pass out of your vagina.

At times, a poorly positioned knot or stitch can be irritating. If you feel a bothersome internal stitch, check with your doctor. If the surgeon can reach the stitch vaginally, it could be clipped to remove the offending piece, or silver nitrate could be applied to speed healing a bit.

Regardless of the number of stitches, you should follow your doctor’s orders to be sure you don’t inadvertently loosen any sutures before the tissues they are holding have healed. There are usually restrictions on activities such as lifting, bathing, and intercourse that could allow internal stitches to tear loose and/or prevent proper healing. Doing too much too soon can also lead to complications involving your internal stitches, so be sure to take it easy and let others help you during your recovery.

If you want details about your specific surgery, you can talk to your doctor and/or request a copy of your surgical report.

This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.

01-15-2014 - 09:30 AM


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