A patient recently had surgery on his lower back and the physician has left orders for the nurse to remove the sutures. The nurse notes that the patient has retention sutures in place in the incision. Which of the following interventions of the nurse is most appropriate?


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- Contact the physician

- Pull up on the stitch and cut on the same side as the knot

- Push down in the center of the stitch before cutting the suture next to the skin

- eave the sutures in place to dissolve


A physician, when closing a wound, may use various types of sutures. In some instances, the nurse may remove the sutures or staples as the physician orders. Retention sutures are a type of suture that are often placed to support the work of other kinds of sutures or staples that hold the wound closed. Retention sutures are always removed by the surgeon and not the nurse. If the nurse receives an order to remove them, she should clarify with the physician first.

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