"After my surgery, I started to have burning in the vulva area," explains Girard. "My husband found an opening and a little piece of what we thought was a suture had worked its way through. We went back to the Mayo Clinic but the doctor said, 'What do you want me to do, go back in there and dig them all out?' In hindsight, this would have been the best thing to have done.
"I saw my GYN here in New York but he couldn't see anyplace that looked like a suture had popped out. I had this severe burning pain for months until another doctor cauterized areas along my incision line. On both sides of the incision line there were little openings and he believes the sutures left in there were trapped in scar tissue and were trying to make their way out to the surface.
When my doctor cauterizes the area, I am numbed first but I'm wide awake, and then as soon as the numbness wears off, the burning is gone and it itches. At times he has seen a stitch but he has come to the conclusion that they "mush up". He is attempting to burn out whatever sutures are still left in these little holes.
I had between 50-55 cauterizations. In fact I had another cauterization just a few days ago. Right afterward, I use ice packs to get some relief. This has caused me to take pain killers and medication for depression—and I was even suicidal at one point.
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What I have are sutures that didn't dissolve - I was 36 years old when I had the surgery and it has also been terrible for my husband; my whole family has watched both of us suffer. It is like a burning urinary infection that won't go away.
One other thing: my doctor told me he recently examined a young woman who complained of a burning around her incision. She brought her medical records in and she also had surgery with Vicryl sutures. 'I don't know if this is a coincidence or a problem with these sutures,' said my doctor."
Vicryl sutures are made by Ethicon, the same company that made Panacryl sutures. Why haven't they all been recalled?