Endometriosis UK

Smelly stitches?

Hi all,

This is my first post on here.

Nearly 3 weeks ago I had a diagnostic laparoscopy and they found endo (booo!) they managed to get some of it with diathermy but the pain is back already so it looks like a 6 month treatment of zoladex is on the cards.

Anyhoo, the real question I wanted to ask was did anyone have any awful smells relating to their dissolving stitches? And how did you get rid of it/mask it in the short term? Doc says all is fine, no infection, it's just the smell of them dissolving, but It's driving me insane. Been wandering around wondering what the awful smell is and now I realise it's me! I've honestly had rotting mice beneath the floorboards that have smelt better than my stomach does at the moment! I keep catching a whiff and heaving! Hope you are all well, and one of you has some tips for me! :)

11 Replies

If they are now dissolving -could you carefully pull them out?

Make sure you re using sterilised or disinfected tweezers and hve antiseptic cream to put on afterwards.

I've never notice smelly dissolving stitches before and i don't remember anyone else mentioning them either.

Smells are usually associated with infections.

Perhaps your body chemicals are having a particularly pungent reaction with the material used for the stitches.

Really don't know what to suggest?

Other than perhaps keep them under wraps with waterproof plasters holding in the smell till they have disppeared.

Main thing is to avoid infection. But they can take weeks to dissolve long after the wound has healed.

If it was me in that position, I'd have a pair of clean scissors and trim them back to skin surface level hoping the skin will heal over them and allow them to disolve inside - or get the tweezers out, disinfected and try and tug them out cutting off the knot first.

Much like you would do with an ingrown hair. Short sharp tug, slight pain = no more pong hopefully.

As a matter is curiosity - what are you using to keep the wounds disinfected? what antiseptic creams or gels are you using? Might the pong be coming from them instead?

Just a thought.


I took my stitched out after 6 days,using disinfected scissors and tweezers. My surgeon told me.to or to get them taken out by nurse at gp. They were dissolvable too.


I had the same sort of smell, I had the Lapo, and a cut for the appendix. They actually came out after 7 weeks by themselves. I waited until I could bath, and had a natural salt water bath. which helped clean the white stitches, they turned from red yuk colour to clean white. After two days they just tried up ad pinged off, when I pulled my tights/knickers up. My appendix one first flew off as it was near my knicker line, two specs stayed in.

Hmm I wouldn't want to pull anything out unless you know what you are doing, everyone heals at different rates. I would advise seeing your GP Nurse, personally, just incase.


3 weeks is fine for stitch removal - non dissolvbles are routinely removed about 10 days after surgery, so 3 weeks is not going to pose ny risks to the wounds other than from not keeping the clean and bug free. The wounds themselves will be well on their way to recovery by then.



I had the same problem as you after my lap! My navel incision especially, well, the smell used to make me heave and mine didnt turn out to be infected at all. Just wondering, how did they dress your incisions afterwards? Because if they covered them up with adhesive bandages then that might be what is making the smell more apparent? I'd never had my wounds covered in my previous two laps so like you, was really quite concerned by the smell. I went to see the District Nurse at my GP's surgery, she looked at mine and told me it was normal and just a sign it was healing and all the gunk on the inside was coming out. She said it was taking my belly button wound a while to heal because they generally do anyway (belly buttons aren't a flat surface to heal and can get moist) plus it was my third lap and they're basically going through scar tissue. Whilst I'm not at all medically trained, and I would still ask a nurse to look at it just to be on the safe side, I just wanted you to know that my lap wound stank too and mine was ok! At the finish, I left my bandage off and sprayed the wound with Savlon spray and the smell got a LOT better lol. Mine were dissolving stitches too. Anything else you wanna know, just ask! Hope you're ok hunny xx


Hi I can't remember a smell but I used to put some Dead Sea salt in an egg cup or shot glass and just hold over my stitches for five minutes or so kept the area clean and disinfected. Great healer too use it after all my ops.


Hi - I don't remember any smells but do know from previous surgeries that I do not have the enzyme which dissolves stitches.It is very common and can be a cause of infection.I had dissolving stitches with tonsillectomy and they didn't dissolve and ended up with septicaemia and having to get them pulled out while conscious!!! -stitches I mean,not the tonsils lol!I now have to ask for external stitches to be the non dissolvable ones which means trips top nurse to have removed.I would be scared to remove them myself.Think I would still get it checked again,as the nurse willprobably remove them just like non dissolving ones.

Salt is a great healer.I have never used before for lap wounds but will remember for next surgery-thanks to those who suggested.You could also try tincture of calendula -which is a great wound healer,disinfectant .Tee tree or calendula cream is a good natural alternative.

Hope youR smell disappears soon!


Hey ladies, I had my 1st lap done 2 weeks today I have 3 incisions pelvis belly button&cleft side of tummy although I'm a little concerned as my belly button one stinks... I came home from work today went too the loo and looked at them they were sticky with clear fluid and the site is a little red but not sore at all should I be worried???x


As recommended above, mine sorted themselves out after a week or so of cleaning them with cotton wool and cooled boiled water with some salt added. I guess a bottle of saline solution like you get after an ear piercing would work too.

Don't worry about it! x


Bathe them with cotton wool in warm cooled boiled salt water about twice a day and shower normally that's what I did when mine were getting whiffy it's gross xxx


Also I didn't dress them once the little adhesive ones from the hospital came off after a day or two I left them open. The one used to rub on my jeans so I just pulled the stitch out and it heeled really quickly after that xx


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