How to Use a Staple Removal Kit for Safe Staple Removal
Due to the fact that surgical staples are most often used for repairing wounds in the skin, having the right instrument to remove surgical staples, such as, a staple removal kit, is extremely important for removal when considering comfort and convenience. After a patient has had a procedure requiring staples, the last thing they want to think about is uncomfortable removal, so a tool that has been specifically designed for the job is essential. However, there are more aspects to consider than just the right tools when it comes to proper staple removal.
Preparation of Staple Removal Site
The site of the stapled incision needs to be properly cleaned using a surgical skin prep solution or an antiseptic solution before you begin to remove any staples from the skin, as there may be bacteria in any dried blood or scabs that remain on the incision area. Solutions that will do the job are varied, but can include 70% isopropyl alcohol or a betadine/iodine solution. Remember to properly clean the staples in addition to the surrounding skin. It is recommended that you use disposable gloves to protect yourself and the patient from possible contamination during the process.
Aligning the Staple Remover
When removing surgical staples, it is important that the staple remover be positioned correctly. To do this, position the lower jaw of your staple remover beneath the staple. Take care that the remover is in the center of the staple and aligned so that it is parallel with the incision below. The remover’s upper jaw will then be lying over the staple’s mid-portion.
Disengaging the Staple
With the staple remover precisely aligned, you may now gently squeeze the two handles of the remover, keeping the force consistent. As this pressure is applied, the remover will begin to make a downward bend in the staple, causing the tines, or legs, to disengage from the skin by springing open. You may then gently guide the staple up and out of the incision site. Repeat this process for each staple. It is important to keep in mind that during the staple removal process, it may be necessary to “fire” the remover multiple times to successfully separate the staple from the patient’s skin.
Post-Removal Skin Care
Once all of the staples have been removed from the incision site, make sure to clean the skin and incision of any blood using proper cleansing solutions. Depending on the patient, it may be necessary to employ bandages or other external dressings to absorb possible drainage from the small staple punctures.
When caring for a wound of any kind, using the proper preparation techniques, tools, and post-procedural care is the best way to ensure efficient, infection-free healing. For this purpose, it is highly recommended that you use a staple removal kit, rather than regular household tools, to remove any staples during a healing process. Keeping your cleansing solutions, bandages, and other first aid kit products well-stocked and easily accessible will enable you to handle a variety of injuries in any situation.
- Dr. Nate Whittaker, MD Emergency Medicine Specialist