strong text Can a person be allergic to Vicryl sutures used internally as part of surgery? I had carpal tunnel surgery and the surgeon used Vicryl sutures inside my hand. After the surgeon removed the exterior sutures, I was still having problems with the wound healing. After another week or so, I noticed something on my palm at the incision site. I picked at the spots and something poked out of the tissue that looked black. I used a pair of tweezers to remove the black thing, which turned out to actually be a purple string. Then I pulled out 3 or 4 more purple threads from the wound area. At this point in time, the area of the incision did not appear to be healing. It looked like the end of a sausage casing that had been over-stuffed with sausage. After removal of the purple threads, the wound continued to heal normally. Was this an allergic reaction? How can I avoid this happening in future surgeries?

2 Answers 2


Sure, it could be an allergy to vicryl, but if it wasn't itchy, it probably wasn't. You probably saw some granulation tissue, normal in healing, expecially visible if you're poking around in an incompletely healed incision.

If you want to know if you're allergic to Vicryl, simply ask your doctor to place one stitch somewhere on your body where your skin is soft and relatively thin, like the inside of your forearm or the small of your back. If you start to itch and the area swells up, you're allergic.

A Technique for Identifying Vicryl Suture Hypersensitivity


Vicryl takes many weeks to hydrolyze and absorb (56-70 days per Ethicon data), and in the process it can generate a foreign body reaction from the body. The body does one of two things for foreign bodies: 1) pushes them out or 2) walls them off.

Inflammation and foreign body reaction are not allergic responses. Please go back to your surgeon and ask for a professional opinion. After all, your surgeon's fee for the procedure covers routine follow-up visits and wound healing issues are definitely in that category.

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