Suture Granuloma: New Bump On An Incision Line

Abnormal skin growths – lumps, ridges, or other seemingly random growths on or below the surface of the skin – can be very concerning. This is especially true if they come up at the site of a previously treated skin cancer. However, not all of these growths are worrisome.

A suture granuloma, for example, can normally be found on or near the site of past surgery. Suture granulomas are a mass or cluster of immune cells that develop at the site of surgical sutures, or stitches.

“These granulomas are most commonly associated with embedded suture material, or material inadvertently left under the skin following the removal of surgical sutures or staples,” explains Dr. Adam Mamelak, board certified Dermatologist and Mohs Micrographic Surgeon at Sanova Dermatology. “However, these growths can also appear where dissolvable or absorbable suture material has been used under the skin to repair a wound.” Suture granulomas can also form over the site of permanently implanted medical materials such as fixators, mesh, or other surgical devices.

A suture granuloma forms as a result of the body’s immune system attempting to wall off the foreign substance from surrounding body tissues. Immune system cells cluster around the ‘foreign body’ or the site where a foreign body has been removed, encapsulating the area with immune cells. The granuloma can look red and swollen in some cases. “Sometimes the body even trys to eliminate the foreign material through the skin’s surface, which can look like a boil or pimple in the area,” Dr. Mamelak states.

Suture granulomas may appear immediately after surgery or, in the case of permanent sutures or other implanted medical device, sometime later when the body’s immune system ramps up its defense against the foreign material.

Of course, with any sudden, unexplained skin growth, you should have it evaluated by your dermatologist as soon as possible. Once the diagnosis is confirmed, there are a variety of ways to treat suture granulomas. “Suture granulomas can resolve on their own and simply monitoring it or using an anti-inflammatory agent may be all that’s needed,” says Dr. Mamelak. However, if the growth is painful, continues to grow,  or is an aesthetic concern, the suture (and granuloma) can simply be removed.

Suture granulomas may reoccur. For this reason, any patient who has had even one incident should discuss this with their physician and surgeon before any subsequent medical procedure.

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If you are concerned your skin is not healing properly after surgery, please contact us. Our skilled physicians are available to address any questions and concerns you may have.

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