Sutures and staples are generally removed when the wound closure has become strong enough to withstand normal activity. The major exception to this principle is the face, where cosmetic outcome is important. Percutaneous sutures incite the development of small epithelial plugs at the suture puncture sites, leaving behind a "railroad track" if sutures are left in place for 7 days or more. Therefore, facial sutures are removed at 4 to 5 days, before tensile strength is adequately recovered. Such wounds may require adhesive closure strips for an additional 3 to 4 days. Sutures and staples in other areas can be removed in 7 to 14 days ( Iable.l ..44-2). Sutures and staples applied over highly mobile areas, particularly the extensor surfaces of large joints, are best left in place for 3 to 4 days longer.
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