Have you ever had stitches and wondered if it was okay for you to remove them yourself? What would you need to take them out?
A suture removal kit is a set of sterile tools used to remove sutures after a wound has healed. They typically contain sterile single-use versions of the following tools:
- Working Tray
- Suture Removal Scissors
- Suture Removal Forceps
- Alcohol Prep Pad
- Exam Gloves
Nobody particularly enjoys getting sutured, but in some situations, it is a necessary part of life. In fact, sometimes it is the only solution that can be worked toward. However, getting sutured poses one problem that you might not think about at first. Eventually, you are going to have to remove the sutures.
In and of itself, removing sutures isn’t that big of a deal for anyone. With that being said, if you do not know what you are doing and you do not know what materials you need, then removing sutures can seem like a monumental task at first. Thankfully, there are many different suture removal kits that you can look at, with each one having the materials in it to efficiently remove sutures when the time comes.
What Should You Look For In a Suture Removal Kit?
As you begin your search for a suture removal kit, you might believe that it is fairly straightforward what you should look for. In some cases, it is pretty straightforward what you should look for, although you should still be certain you know exactly what you need.
In general, you should look for suture removal kits that fulfill your purposes with them. If you need a single-use removal kit, then all you really need are forceps, scissors, and gauze.
On the other hand, if you are looking for a removal kit that you can use as long as you clean it, you will need to make sure that there is more to it than just three things.
In general, most kits are going to have similar materials in them. Most removal kits are going to have suture forceps with serrated grips, which ensures that you can control them well. Most will also have specialized suture-removing scissors, which tend to be sharp or blunt with notches on them.
Whether or not you need the sharp or blunt scissors depends entirely on your needs from your kit. You will also need to think about what else the kit contains.
What Do Most Kits Contain?
As mentioned earlier, almost all suture removal kits are going to have forceps and scissors in them. You can consider these to be the primary tools that are used when you are removing sutures.
A suture removal kit that doesn’t have these items isn’t really going to work. With this in mind, there are a few more things that you will need to look at and consider.
These next few items all protect you and the person you are working with against blood-borne pathogens. Some kits will have a number of the following items:
- Gauze pads
- Gauze sponge
- Alcohol prep pads
- Medical exam gloves
Each of these items will work to prevent the spread of disease between you and the patient, no matter if it is on the body or the face. You will have to pay attention, as some kits only have the bare minimum, whereas other kits might have materials that you already own and do not need more of.
This is one of the many reasons why it is important for you to pay attention to what is in the kit. For instance, some kits will come with just forceps, scissors, a single alcohol prep wipe, and a disposal tray for you to use when the entire process is done. I prefer these kits since they’re typically really cheap and can be thrown away afterward.
Other kits can include multiple packages of everything, from several pairs of gloves to numerous wipes to use. Generally, this will affect the price of the suture removal kit as well.
If you’re buying a kit online, just make sure you know what you’re getting. Some come packaged together with multiple kits and others are just single kits…the price is often pretty similar for both!
How Do You Choose a Suture Removal Kit?
First and foremost, your priority should always be what is in the kit. You should always choose a kit based on what you need for the task at hand, rather than choosing a kit because of a name brand.
It is more important that you have the materials you need, rather than a notable brand name. So first, when you are choosing a suture removal kit, you should make sure that the kits you are looking at have what you need to comfortably remove the sutures.
Next, you should look at the brand. You will always want to rely on a reputable brand that has made a name for itself. After all, being able to rely on a reputation is important, especially when it comes to medical instruments.
Some notable brands that make suture removal kits are Covidien, Medline, CardinalHealth, and Medikmark. There are many more, such as 3M, that make suture removal kits as well, but you will have to go searching to get the best deal on the kits. This brings you to the third and final point of choosing the perfect suture removal kit for your needs: the price.
The price of these kits is generally extremely inexpensive, which is wonderful if you are only looking for one kit for a single procedure. However, if you need to get them in bulk, you will need to pay attention to the price per kit, as this can change depending on where you get it from.
More often than not, the more stuff the kit has in it, the more it will cost, although this shouldn’t affect the outcome of the price too badly. These are all the things you will need to think about when choosing a suture removal kit.
Do You Need a Suture Removal Kit?
One of the most important questions, when you’re trying to decide to buy something new, is do you really need it? With something like this, it’s really your call.
I like having a package of 10 or so in storage just in case. It’s honestly not something I intend to use often, but I like to have them available just in case.
With something this cheap I just get them, put them with my medical supplies and forget about them. It’s not a purchase I really agonize over.
The good thing is if you don’t have a suture removal kit, you can still easily remove sutures with just about any tweezers and scissors. The kit just puts them all in one place and ensures that they’re sterile.
Is suture removal painful? Suture removal is almost never painful. Typically the doctor will cut the suture near the knot and then gently pull them out. You could feel some tugging as the sutures are removed, but the pain will be very minimal if it’s done correctly.
How do you remove sutures? Using tweezers, pull up on each knot in the suture. Slide the tip of the scissors into the knot and cut it. You can then gently pull suture to remove them. The suture may produce a slight pulling or feeling of pressure but it shouldn’t be painful when you pull it out.
Should you be overly worried about suture removal kits? Probably not. If you don’t already have all the food and water that you need and most of the other medical equipment you want then you have better things to worry about.
If you’re pretty set with food and water (or you just feel like it) spend a little bit of money and pick up a few suture removal kits to add to your medical supplies. Look for a suture removal kit that has everything in one sterile package and can be thrown away after you use it.