"Stitches left in too long following an operartion"

About: Princess Royal University Hospital (Orpington)

I recently had a carpal tunnel operation, which required the palm of my hand to be cut open, by the wrist and then up towards the middle finger about 3cms long. The whole process went very well, from the referral to consultation and then operation (day surgery). I was released with stiches in my hand and told to expect an appointment to be sent by post. The appointment I was given for the stiches to be taken out was for 16 days after the operation. After 10 days I could see the wound was healing well however the stitches were becoming buried in my hand. I called the PRU to ask for an earlier appointment to be told that I wasn't a Doctor and that Doctor knows best! I couldn't make the 16 day appointment and asked if I could call in and wait if somebody became free. I was told that the unit was not a 'drop in' centre. I was then given an appointment a week later for the stitches to be removed 23 days after the operation. I then contacted my Doctor was given an appointment to see the nurse a couple of days later. The nurse said the stiches should have come out earlier and one actually broke whilst she was removing it out leaving a blue strand behind. Some days later it emerged near the surface of my hand and I went back to the Doctors and it was removed using a needle. The medical care was great although trying to get past the administration staff in the hospital seems to be the problem, and I am convinced if I had left it 23 days after my operation for the stiches to be removed it would have required yet another operation! Sometimes patients can make accurate assessments of their condition. On this form it asks for a Department which was the Alan Cummings Day Surgery Unit, however it is not on the list so have had to put Don't Know!

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Response from Princess Royal University Hospital

I am very sorry to hear about your experience of our Day Surgery Unit and its administration staff and will ensure that your comments are passed onto the relevant team. If you would like to discuss this further please contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service. You can either email them on kch-tr.PALSkent@nhs.net or phone 01689 863 252.

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