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Removal of sutures under anesthesia (other than local), same surgeon

CPT4 code

Name of the Procedure:

Removal of sutures under anesthesia (other than local), same surgeon. Common name(s): Suture removal under general anesthesia, Stitch removal under sedation


In this procedure, sutures (stitches) are removed from a healed wound while the patient is under general anesthesia or sedation. This approach is used when local anesthesia is insufficient or not suitable.


Medical Condition:
  • Removal of sutures ##### Goals:
  • To safely and painlessly remove sutures that have facilitated wound healing.


  • Severe pain or anxiety during suture removal
  • Extensive sutures over a large or sensitive area
  • Complex cases, such as those involving extensive tissue repair
  • Patient's inability to tolerate local anesthesia


  • Fasting for at least 6–8 hours before the procedure if general anesthesia will be used.
  • Medication adjustments as directed by the healthcare provider.
  • Pre-operative assessments, including blood tests and possibly imaging studies.
  • Discussion with the anesthesiologist regarding any medical history or concerns.

Procedure Description

  1. The patient is positioned comfortably, and anesthesia is administered.
  2. Once the patient is under anesthesia, the surgeon carefully cuts and removes each suture.
  3. The area is cleaned and inspected for proper healing.
  4. Dressings are applied if necessary. ##### Tools:
    • Surgical scissors or suture removal scissors
    • Forceps or tweezers
    • Antiseptic solutions ##### Anesthesia:
    • General anesthesia or intravenous sedation is administered by an anesthesiologist.


Typically takes 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the complexity and number of sutures.


  • Hospital operating room or an outpatient surgical center.


  • Surgeon
  • Anesthesiologist
  • Surgical nurses
  • Operating room technicians

Risks and Complications

  • Common: Mild bleeding, minor pain at the site, slight risk of infection.
  • Rare: Persistent pain, allergic reactions to anesthesia, anesthetic complications.


  • Pain-free removal of sutures.
  • Reduced anxiety and discomfort during the procedure.
  • Allows thorough inspection of the healed wound area.


  • Monitoring until the effects of anesthesia wear off (typically a few hours).
  • Follow-up instructions will include wound care, activity restrictions, and signs of infection to watch for.
  • Follow-up appointment with the surgeon to assess healing and address any concerns.
  • Most patients can return to normal activities within a day or two.


  • Local anesthesia with potential discomfort.
  • Over-the-counter pain relief before suture removal in less severe cases.
  • Close follow-up with primary care for non-complex recoveries. ##### Pros and Cons of Alternatives:
  • Local anesthesia: quicker setup but can be painful.
  • Over-the-counter pain relief: less invasive but may not provide complete pain relief for all.

Patient Experience

  • The patient will feel no pain during the procedure due to anesthesia.
  • Post-procedure, there might be mild soreness or discomfort, manageable with prescribed pain medications.
  • Patients may feel groggy or disoriented after waking from general anesthesia, which typically resolves within a few hours.

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