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Old 09-26-2011, 07:48 PM   #1
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Nylon Stitch (Non-Dissolving) left inside foot accidentally

Hi There,

About 3 wks ago, when I was examining my right ft, post bunion surgery, I noticed after one of the scabs fell of the side of my foot, a piece of nylon stitch hanging out of the foot, it was about an inch to an inch and a half long!!

The nurse working at the fracture clinic had changed my dressings and removed (so she thought and so did I ) the stitches from both feet. Though I noticed she seemed distrated and she kept saying "Oh I missed one here, oh and I missed another over here." Not reassuring to say the least!! She was an older nurse with glasses and I'm sure she should be retiring right about now!

So when I noticed the stitch hanging out, I called the fracture clinic and they put her on the phone to me. She told me to cut the knot and pull the stitch out. I could see no knot. I guess it was buried under another scab. So she then tells me to just cut the stitch back so it is flush with the skin, and the rest will retract back into the skin.

Today when having a shower, I now notice a tiny little hole where the stich had been cut back and I can still feel a tiny bit of the stitch coming out of my skin...enough to snag on something but not enough for me to cut back myself.
Now that all the scabs have fallen off, I can see a 1/4 of an inch up, there is the stitch knot embedded UNDER my skin!!! and I can feel it...it's hard. I can also feel and move the bit of stich under my skin.

I'm so upset!! I see my Dr. on Wed. This lady is so negligent. I'm wondering if my Dr. will remove the stitch...................?? It's not infected or sore.

 
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Old 09-26-2011, 08:43 PM   #2
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Re: Nylon Stitch (Non-Dissolving) left inside foot accidentally

Nicole,

Hopefully your physician will remove the suture. Nylon suture is non absorbable and should be removed. Even if the knot is buried, it can be removed. Occasionally it takes some local anesthetic prior to removing it. If it is not removed, your body will form a granuloma around the foreign body. It will not necessarily get infected, but may continue to cause pain.

I am sure you will, but make sure you make your physician aware of the findings you have noticed. The nurse should never have told you to cut the suture flush with the skin. She probably assumed it was a vicryl suture underneath the skin which is absorbable. Either way, her recommendation was stupidity at its finest.

 
Old 09-27-2011, 05:11 AM   #3
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Re: Nylon Stitch (Non-Dissolving) left inside foot accidentally

Unfortunately this is a common occurrence. I had one left in my foot after a surgery. Luckily it was short so I could just pull it out myself. I would have just made an appt and gone back to the doctor when I found it if I couldn't have gotten it out.

 
Old 09-27-2011, 06:49 AM   #4
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Re: Nylon Stitch (Non-Dissolving) left inside foot accidentally

The nurse made it sound like everything was going to be ok and I thought since it was the fracture clinic nurse that had removed the stitches and not the Dr., that I would just deal with them. My surgeon is somewhere different every day of the wk...private ft. clinic, fracture clinic at the hospital, his office another day in a different location and then he has his surgery days at the hospital.

Needless, to say, I reported this incident to the Patient Care Manager at the hospital where this nurse works. Yes, things like this happen. But they shouldn't. She was distracted and careless. Her eyesight seemed poor even with the glasses and the fact that the stitches are clear, she seemed to have a hard time seeing them. IMO, she shouldn't be removing stitches if she has poor eyesight.

 
Old 09-27-2011, 12:24 PM   #5
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Re: Nylon Stitch (Non-Dissolving) left inside foot accidentally

From my own experience and from the reports of my surgeon and PT it's pretty common for sutures to remain after supposedly being removed - I had thick scabs from my surgery for Hallux Limitus / Hallux Rigidus (similar to a bunion surgery incision) and it was difficult for even the young nurse with very sharp eyesight to get them all out the first time (they were black & nonabsorbable) since some were buried in the scab. Luckily, my PT was in the same office as my surgeon, so as my scabs started to fall off and small pieces of black sutures appeared, my nurse came and removed them for me (I think there were about 6 in all). My scabs finally were gone by 8 weeks post surgery and the final piece of suture was plucked out then! For me, it all worked out, but it did concern me when I found the first one until my surgeon put my mind at ease.

I didn't have any with the knot under the skin, though, so I hope that one comes out fairly easily as well.

Last edited by Grace404; 09-27-2011 at 12:24 PM. Reason: spelling

 
Old 09-27-2011, 01:39 PM   #6
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Re: Nylon Stitch (Non-Dissolving) left inside foot accidentally

My daughter had one nylon stitch after her heart surgery that did not dissolve. I was all sorts of freaked out about it, until her pediatrician told me to go ahead and give it a " pluck ". Sure enough, it came right out and she barely made a squawk. The tiny hole that was left healed up within a few days.

 
Old 09-27-2011, 02:21 PM   #7
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Re: Nylon Stitch (Non-Dissolving) left inside foot accidentally

PinkEarthMama-

The doctor, nurse & PT all told me I could have plucked them out myself too!

 
Old 09-27-2011, 04:19 PM   #8
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Re: Nylon Stitch (Non-Dissolving) left inside foot accidentally

Well it ended up that the Patient Care Manager of the hospital called me at home today. She was very apologetic and said she would contact my surgeon even though I'm seeing him tomorrow and she would contact the Manager/Supervisor of the fracture clinic just to make them aware.

I just hope he numbs the area because he is def. going to have to re-open the skin (about 1/2 inch) to get the suture out. Not looking forward to it.

 
Old 09-27-2011, 04:22 PM   #9
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Re: Nylon Stitch (Non-Dissolving) left inside foot accidentally

Quote:
Originally Posted by PinkEarthMama View Post
My daughter had one nylon stitch after her heart surgery that did not dissolve. I was all sorts of freaked out about it, until her pediatrician told me to go ahead and give it a " pluck ". Sure enough, it came right out and she barely made a squawk. The tiny hole that was left healed up within a few days.
I wish I could just pluck mine out but I can't as the knot is firmly embedded in the skin with no opening. Skin has to be cut and then the knot, then it can be pulled out...hard to explain. My tiny opening is on the other end of the knot...if I pull it's going to cause damage and the knot will be dragged down...

 
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