I needed to have a very small surgical procedure done in my home country, which resulted in a small incision in my head that had to be closed with two stitches.

The stitches are supposed to be removed in 10 days, and I'll be in Portugal then. Removing stitches is a very simple procedure done in most countries by a nurse or a local physician.

It looks like my best bet to get them removed in Portugal will be a "centro de saúde". Is that correct? Do I need an appointment there, or can I just walk in?

  • Just a tip, I have found that French is far more commonly spoken in Portugal than English. But you should be able to get away with English with professionals.
    – Aganju
    May 28, 2016 at 1:52
  • @Aganju I'm not sure about that. You should provide some kind of source. I'm portuguese and I know way more people that know english than french. But it might be the truth only for my generation (20's) and not older ones.
    – Edu
    Dec 5, 2016 at 15:29

2 Answers 2


Public system

Any nurse can do that also in Portugal. Going to a "centro de saúde" (health center) is a good choice. These are part of the national health system. In principle you don't need an appointment. Just go there and explain the reason. That is so fast and simple that they may solve it immediately. Be prepared and take some "patience" with you though. The system usually works well but you can always get some "old school" public servant. Being a foreigner you will most likely be very well treated. Portuguese in general are very pleasant, and like foreign visitors, but be prepared for that 0.1% chance. You might need to wait or return another day if it's crowded. It's hard to tell since that varies a lot in geographical area and time of the year.

In any case you can always call first to http://www.saude24.pt/ (808 24 24 24). This is a phone line from the national helth system to give advice about daily health problems (not urgency, that is 112). They will be able to help, and I would probably do this first. They can even point you to the nearest "centro de saúde"

Private options

There are also many private nurses /offices. It shouldn't be hard to find one. And a simple treatment/thing should be very cheap.

You can look in yellow pages for nurses: http://www.pai.pt/q/business/advanced/what/enfermeiros/?contentErrorLinkEnabled=true

You can also ask in a pharmacy where you can do it. There are many and often offer more services than just selling drugs (they often have specialized personnel) . They might actually remove stitches or point you in the right direction. I would definitely visit one to know.

If they're not too busy I wouldn't be surprised that they helped you, even if they don't offer the service by default. And without any promise, I wouldn't even be surprised if they didn't charge for such a thing.

  • If you do not speak Portuguese, have card, in Portuguese that will explain the situation, and if possible have an actual note from your local physician explaining the situation.
    – Max
    May 27, 2016 at 17:18
  • @Max, most nurses will probably understand english but that's a good idea, specially if dealing with the staff
    – nsn
    May 27, 2016 at 17:21

Alternatively, you could just do it yourself: http://www.wikihow.com/Remove-Stitches I probably would for 2 stitches.

  • 1
    Since they are on the dome of my head, that seems like a sub optional solution
    – Martijn
    May 27, 2016 at 16:16
  • Fair enough! Best to go with nsn's solution then.
    – Berwyn
    May 27, 2016 at 16:21

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