The following question from our forum is from a woman who had a tummy tuck in India and has since returned to the United States. She is concerned that her stitches have become hard and brittle and wonders if she should have her family doctor in the USA remove them.

Date: 04/17/2010 Submitted by: Kelly

I found it very helpful to read on your recovery. I have a question about the stitches because I had my surgery in INDIA at Wockhardt Hospital which came out very well. I had a great doctor plus it saved me a lot of money. My stitches at the hips are hard n brittle just wondering if they need to be removed by my primary doctor in the USA? I know you are not a doctor, but wanted to ask. He said the ones in the middle of my tummy would just fall off. I am just worried about the ones on my hips. Thanks in advance. Kelly


Date: 04/17/2010 Submitted by: Tanner


From what I remember, the “brittle” stitches that I had turned out to be the non-permanent dissolvable stitches. It took about 2-1/2 weeks after surgery for them to all fall out.

When I showered and gently rubbed the stitched area with a bar of soap, little pieces of stitches (about 1/4″ long) or so would sometimes break off and cling to the bar of soap. Over time, they eventually all came out. I carefully removed a few of the stubborn fragments with my fingernail or a tweezers after observing that the skin was healed and they were no longer serving their function (they were just sticking out).

In your case I would consider;
– how long has it been since you had your surgery?
– have your permanent stitches already been removed?
– has your skin healed together so that the remaining stitches are not performing any function?
– are the ‘brittle” stitches that you refer to complete stitches or fragments of stitches?
– did you have all of the permanent stitches removed when you were still in India?

You said “He said the ones in the middle of my tummy would just fall off.” What did he say about the hip stitches? Do they look the same as the tummy stitches?

Have you noticed any other dissolvable stitches coming out by themselves? If not, then maybe enough time has not passed for them to dissolve and break down. If other stitches have “dissolved” but the ones on your hips remain one or two weeks after the others have gone, maybe they will have to be removed. But, if they told you that the hip stitches were dissolvable and if they are not causing you any pain or discomfort, you may want to just give it some more time. Your local doctor can always remove them later.

Good luck.


I had surgery on March 25 and the brittle ones are tender to touch sometimes and when they rub against something I am wearing it pulls a little bit. I think I will call my regular doctor about having them looked at to make sure they are okay or need to come out. My incision is healing pretty good…except one or two areas that just look irritated, but I have been putting some 1st aid cream on them and it seems to help. I just wish the swelling would go away…it is starting to annoy me…! LOL Not sure if it needs to be drained a bit, but the thing I am worried about is my insurance would not cover any after care. I know the doctor in INDIA said there would be aftercare, but it has been 6 days since I sent a email and he has not responded. I appreciate all your help. Kelly