Sutures & Stiches

Los Gatos Pediatrics is equipped to handle nearly all wounds that requires sutures and stitches.  Our pediatricians have provided wound care to thousands of children and we have extensive experience providing sutures and stitches for all types of cuts and lacerations. 


Sutures & Stitches FAQ

When are sutures or stitches necessary?

Any cut that is split open or gaping needs sutures. If a cut is on the face and longer than ¼ inch, the child should be seen by our pediatricians. The cut may need to be closed with sutures or skin glue.

Any long and/or deep open wound  should be seen as soon as possible. Ideally, they should be checked and closed within 6 hours. This is to prevent wound infections. There is no cutoff, however, for treating open wounds.

When are stitches removed?  

Stitches and staples are used to keep wounds together during healing.

They need to be removed within 4-14 days. The specific removal date depends on the location of the stitches or staples. Removal should not be delayed because they might leave skin marks.

What happens if the wound opens after sutures or stitches?

Sutures and stitches that come out early are cause for concern. For open cuts, call your child’s pediatrician immediately.

In general, if a wound opens, then it will be necessary to re-suture. If a face wound has re-opened, the cut may need to be re-glued or re-stitched.  If a suture on the body opens within 48 hours after stitching, then the cut may need restitched (or glued) if gaping open. After 48 hours, the sutured wound can be reinforced with tape. If the wound healed and suture falls off, the wound should heal up fine without any further treatment.  

After sutures or stitches are provided to my child, when should I be concerned?

  • Stitches came out early and wound has opened up.
  • Your child’s wound looks infected (spreading redness, pus)
  • Your child develops a fever
  • Your child looks or acts very sick
  • Call our office if you believe your child needs to be seen, and the problem appears urgent.

Additional information on caring for wounds after stitches.

For more information, check out this Healthy Kids Learning Hub. Also check out our Services and Pediatric Resources pages for specific issues additional information.