An unexpected lockdown forced a Chinese woman to have the stitches of her eyelid surgery removed at the gate of her residential complex.
Last week, she was finally ready to have her sutures removed after days of waiting. Unfortunately, however, local health authorities had just decided to place her residential block under a COVID-19 lockdown in a bid to stop the spread of the virus in the city. On Sunday, Shanghai’s municipal health authority reported 50 new coronavirus patients and 3,450 asymptomatic cases. There are currently a total of 14,376 local asymptomatic cases still under medical observation in the city.
Her concerns grew two days later after the officials informed the residents that the lockdown in their complex could stay longer than expected.
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She then asked her doctor, surnamed Zhou, if it was possible to postpone the removal of her sutures.
“I am not allowed to leave my residential block. Do you think I can postpone the time to remove the sutures? I feel they have been embedded in my flesh,” she was quoted as asking.
Zhou told the patient that the sutures must be removed immediately. He suggested that he send over a surgical blade and tweezers so she could ask someone in her complex to remove the stitches for her.
Non-absorbable sutures used in surgeries must be removed as soon as the wound is healed, which usually takes about a week. Once the stitches are removed, the wound can continue healing. Having the sutures embedded in the skin longer than necessary can cause unsightly scars.
The doctor eventually decided to visit his patient at her residential complex and do it himself after she failed to find someone who could help her.
Since he was not allowed to enter the complex, he was forced to remove the sutures at the community gate.
According to Zhou, the procedure became complicated since they were both standing with a gate between them. The doctor placed the patient’s chin on top of the barrier to keep her face from any sudden movement while he removed the sutures.
Following COVID-19 health protocols, the doctor wore a mask and brought along alcohol disinfection pads, tweezers and a surgical blade during his visit.