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Will I Pass Stitches Vaginally?

From the Hysterectomy Recovery Articles List

Passing Internal Stitches VaginallyWhen do the vaginal cuff stitches dissolve? Will I pass these stitches vaginally? What will they look like?

When the complete uterus with cervix is removed, a vaginal cuff is created to close the top of the vagina. The stitches used to create this cuff are usually absorbable and may begin to disintegrate as early as three weeks after surgery, though it may be as long as three to four months after surgery before they have dissolved.

The vaginal cuff can either be created vaginally or laparoscopically. When the cuff is created vaginally, it may be more likely that some of the dissolving stitches will be seen as knots will be on the vaginal side of the cuff. As parts of the stitches dissolve, remaining pieces on the vaginal side of the cuff may exit through the vagina. Some HysterSisters have found tiny pieces on their panty liners, seen them when wiping, or saw them floating in the toilet. These pieces of “string” can range in size and color as there are a variety of materials which can be used. Common colors reported by HysterSisters are purple, blue, tan, brown, black, and white. They can be small, curled bunches of thread-like material or look like pieces of string.

In addition, sometimes clips can be used to anchor suture lines. These clips are also absorbable, but at times they, too, can be passed vaginally. HysterSisters have most commonly reported clips that were a shade of purple.

As stitches begin to dissolve, you may notice you have new or increased discharge, which can range in color. If you see new bright red bleeding, however, this could indicate a problem. You could be doing too much too soon, causing a stitch to tear loose too early or a tear in the healing tissues where a stitch did not hold. If bright red bleeding is accompanied by intense pain, call your doctor; you may have torn your vaginal cuff, which can be very serious and possibly require surgery to repair.

You may also notice a vaginal odor as stitches dissolve. This can be normal, but if the odor has a “fishy” smell, you may have an infection that needs to be treated by your doctor.

If the stitches are completely absorbed by your body, you may never see them. The pieces may also be so tiny you won’t notice them, especially if you are still having some discharge.

If you have questions about any stitches you may see or the accompanying discharge or odor, don’t hesitate to check with your doctor. Your doctor can advise you if what you are experiencing is normal for your surgery type and point in recovery.

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 - 09:38 AM


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