Q:

How do doctors remove staples?

A:

A doctor removes staples using tweezers and a staple-removal tool. After cleaning the incision, the staple-removal tool gently straightens out the staple so that it can be pulled from the skin with the tweezers, states eMedicineHealth. The procedure is generally painless, though patients may feel mild pinching.

After the staple removal, the wound is cleansed again, according to eMedicineHealth. The doctor applies adhesive Steri-Strips to support the wound as it continues to heal. The strips need to be kept dry, and should stay in place until they fall off on their own.

The wound still needs to be monitored for infection as it continues to heal, states WebMD. Symptoms of infection include a yellow or green discharge from the wound, a foul odor, redness and heat radiating from the wound, and increased pain. A fever may or may not be present. A doctor should be contacted if any of these symptoms occur.

Infection risk can be reduced by monitoring the incision daily, and changing the bandage whenever it becomes wet or soiled, says WebMD. Avoiding the use of powder and lotions on the wound, protecting the area from sunlight and avoiding friction over the wound are additional actions that can reduce infection.

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