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ImNotHere's avatar

How do I protect my stitches after a lipoma removal?

Asked by ImNotHere (444points) March 31st, 2011

I’m a 22 year old female of tall stature and healthy weight. I had a large flat lipoma (6.5 cm) removed from my back today and am worried about straining my stitches. I think the plastic surgeon did a good job and the results look great so far – no bruising, swelling or dent left yet. He gave me two layers of stitches and a silver dressing but I’m still kind of paranoid about doing something to screw it all up.

My problem is that the area around the dressing feels so tight, (maybe it’s just the dressing itself?) especially if I try to do the slightest physical activity with my upper body. Even the smallest things like relaxing my neck and shoulders makes it feel like it’s “pulling” almost and I’m afraid of stretching the wound even a little and causing infection and bad scarring.

Is there anything I can do be comfortable while protecting my stitches while they heal? What kind of activities should I avoid? I know I can’t work out for a couple of weeks but I can’t avoid life and its small demands entirely for that duration! :p

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10 Answers

Rarebear's avatar

The stitches should hold as long as you don’t do anything silly like yoga. They’re designed to take some pulling.

Neurotic_David's avatar

You also need to keep the sutures dry. No showers until the doc clears you! :)

ImNotHere's avatar


One would think so but I asked him about that and he said the alginate (silver) dressing he gave me was waterproof and that showers are a-okay. Pretty much the only thing he told me I can’t do is “work out”.

The problem is that it feels like every thing I do puts strain on the stitches. (ie. relaxing my neck, bending over to pick something up, putting on a coat. etc.) :-/

Bellatrix's avatar

Could you telephone your doctor and just ask the question? Since you are concerned? Just to be on the safe side. Hope it heals up well for you.

faye's avatar

Nerve endings are cut in any surgery and maybe you’re interpreting that as ‘tight’. I think it would hurt too much to pull your stitches out. As a nurse, I’ve only seen it once where there was no infection.

Rarebear's avatar

Yup. Showers are okay after a couple of days.

downtide's avatar

I don’t see why showering would not be possible. When I had surgery last (20 years ago) I was showering without a dressing on the wound after about 3–4 days – and that was in the hospital with the nurse’s full knowledge. Actually the showering itself realy helps with the “tight” feeling.

creative1's avatar

Just follow your plastic surgeons instructions they do so many stitches both on the inside and outside of you that tight feeling you are experiencing is normal, your skin is just adjusting to its new tighter placement. I had a tummy tuck a few years back and it when they finally removed the binding I had to wear for six weeks it felt like my whole stomach would fall out. I too also had the constant tightness and thought at any minute that I would rip the location where he cut. I would just listend to your surgeon as to what you can and can not do they know what they are doing in this arena and don’t ever be afraid to call with the slightest question they would rather you ask then you ruin all of their hard work. So give them call with any questions you have about what you can and can’t do the nurse your doctor has on staff probably is well versed in your surgery and can answer most of your questions without even disturbing the doctor.

asmonet's avatar

Um, hello?
You have a bandage on your skin.

It will feel funny and if you bend it may pull on the skin.

Put a band-aid on your cheek and move your jaw up and down. It will feel similar.

You’ll be fine. Just don’t make sudden, large movements, the weird pulling feeling is to be expected.

a7k11's avatar

I just had a 3 pound lipoma removed from my upper left arm. I showered the next day and all the doctor told me was to rewrap it as tightly as they had wrapped it at the hospital. I was searching for the “why” when I found your post. I too feel the uncomfortable tightness, but do pretty much whatever I want to. I will take Tylenol and rest with my arm elevated to relieve pressure on occasion all throughout the day. I hope this helps. It has bled some but not too much.

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