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Staples, Stitches, Steri-Strips, or Glue?

From the Hysterectomy Recovery Articles List

Closing Internal IncisionsIs it better to have staples or stitches? What about glue or steri-strips? Do I care for them the same way? When will they be removed after my hysterectomy?

How your internal stitches are closed is mostly determined by your surgeon's preference and your particular situation. For larger hysterectomy incisions, surgeons often use stitches or staples. For smaller incisions, they generally choose glue or surgical tape.

Staples are popular for a number of reasons. First of all, they may be quicker and easier for the surgeon. Secondly, and more importantly for you, staples may allow incisions to close faster and with less inflammation than some other methods. Plus, they tend to be easier and less painful to remove.

Stitches are useful because they are more versatile than staples. They can be done in a straight line or a curve, and they can be used in more delicate areas. Because the suture material comes in different strengths, stitches also provide more options for closing each layer according to when it should dissolve or be removed.

Glue is used to close the top layer of skin for some incisions. Generally, this method is only used for small, straight incisions, though some doctors use it for large incisions as well.

Surgical tape, commonly known as steri-strips, may be applied over other methods or used to close smaller incisions. After staples or stitches are removed, they may also be applied to keep your incision closed while it continues to heal.

In some cases, you may also have a combination of methods. For example, your surgeon may use stitches on inner layers of tissue then use staples, glue, or tape on outer layers.

In general, all methods, when used correctly, tend to heal well without prominent scars. Whichever method your surgeon uses, be sure to care for your incision as directed and watch for signs of infection. Your discharge paperwork should include specific instructions based on how your incisions were closed. The paperwork should also tell you when to schedule an appointment to have any staples or stitches removed, usually within a week or two of surgery if they were not removed before you left the hospital.


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 - 09:23 AM


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