Are Purple Stitches Dissolvable?

Written & Reviewed by Dr David Chen

Purple stitches are most likely dissolvable because they’re probably made of one of the synthetic polymers that are absorbable. We say most likely because all stitches actually come undyed which means they’re colorless or white.

purple stitches - PGA - unwound and unboxed
Purple stitches – PGA sutures

However, in our experience, the color of self-dissolving sutures that we’ve used and know of do tend to be purple or violet. We’re not aware of nor used any non-dissolvable stitches that come in a purple color.

We will explain what we mean by all of this and what the implications are for you.

Most absorbable sutures are purple

For the most part, dissolvable stitches usually do come in a purple color. Although manufacturers classify the color as “violet” rather than “purple” but tomayto tomahto right?

Purple stitches - PGA

Nonetheless, there are many different types of absorbable sutures that are made of different materials but quite a few of them are dyed purple. Below is a list of them which we’ve found and know to be in that color. We’ve included references for further evidence.

Type of Suture (Brand Name)Color
Polyglycolic acid (Polysyn)Violet
Polydioxanone (PDS)Violet
Polyglactin 910 (Vicryl)Violet
Glycomer 631 (Biosyn)Violet
Polyglytone 6211 (Caprosyn)Violet
Poliglecaprone (Monocryl)Violet
Different types of absorbable purple sutures

What they look like

In case you wanted pictures as proof, here are a couple of samples to satisfy your curiosity.

types of sutures
Credit: medicshelf

As you can see, there are quite a few of them that do indeed look purple/violet in color.

Purple stitches unboxing video

If you’re more of a visual learner, perhaps you’d like to see our video of unpacking some purple sutures. Here, we show you what they look like and also read the label to you so you know for certain whether they dissolve or not.

Key points:

  • These purple stitches are made of polyglycolide or PGA.
  • They are absorbable meaning that they will dissolve on their own.
  • Thread has a very smooth texture.


Even we say that it is very likely that your purple looking stitches are dissolvable, it could potentially be non-dissolvable as well. The reason is because sutures actually all come undyed but they are dyed by the manufacturer to be a specific color.

It seems like a lot of different brands have settled on having purple or violet be a “dissolvable” suture color. However, there could be an unknown or lesser known brand of suture maker that decides to make a NON-ABSORBABLE suture in the color purple.

If that is the case then what you have may not necessarily be dissolvable…

Example of how they come undyed

Below are images of vicryl sutures (polyglactin 910) which most commonly come in the purple color. However as you can see, it also comes in an undyed variation.

Below is a different example of maxon sutures which often come in a green color but they also make it in an undyed variation.

Credit: dolphinsutures

The point we’re trying to make is that these medical manufacturers can dye the stitches in whatever color they want. They don’t necessarily have to follow the norm and make the purple ones dissolvable.

What this means for you

If your purple stitches are dissolvable, you don’t need to do anything for them because they will eventually fall out on their own. Your body will degrade them and break them down. Once they’ve disintegrated enough, they will get absorbed and disappear.

However, if your sutures happen to be non-dissolvable, you will need to return to your doctor to have them removed. The non-absorbable ones will never dissolve so they will permanently stay there until they get removed.

The reason why the non-dissolving materials don’t fall out on their own is because they’re made of a material that our body can’t process. Some common types of sutures which do not get absorbed are silk and nylon.

Both silk and nylon are often used in clothing and as we all know, they don’t dissolve while we’re wearing them! Our body does not have the means to dissolve them.


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