Goals of suturing
- Requisites of ideal suture
- Selection of suture material
- Absorption of suture material
- Biological response of body to suture.
Suture armamentarium- needles, needle holder, scissor
Principles of suturing
Other methods of wound closure
• Suture means to ‘sew’ or ‘seam’. In
surgery suture is the act of sewing
or bringing tissue together and
holding them in apposition until
healing has taken place.
• A suture is a strand of material used
to ligate blood vessels and to
approximate tissues together.
History of the Surgical Suture “I dress the wound,
God heals it.“
Ambroise Pare, surgeon
• The act of sewing is probably older
then Homo sapiens, because
Neanderthal man wore some sort of
Perhaps the world’s oldest suture was placed by an
embalmer on the body of a twenty first dynasty mummy
about 1100 B.C.
• A south American method of wound
closure used large black ants which bite
the wound edges together and the ants
body is then twisted off leaving the head
• East African tribes ligated blood vessels
with tendons and closed wounds with
• The first detailed
description of a wound
suture and suture
materials used in it is by
the Indian physician
Sushruta, written in 500
Galen, the physician to
Roman gladiators in the
second century A.D. used
silk for hemostasis.
Andreas Vesalius first
advocated the suture of all
fresh wounds as well as
severed tendon and nerves.
• Joseph Lister (1827-1912)
discovered that bacteria
present in suture strands
cause wound infection. He
disinfected sutures with
carbolic acid. He made
sterile sutures possible to
bury it in clean wounds
• Sometime around 30 A.D., a
medical encyclopedia was written
by a Roman named Aurelius
Cornelius Celsus. His work, De Re
Medicina, tells the reader that
sutures should be “soft, and not
over twisted, so that they may be
more easy on the part.” He is
also credited with first
substantiated mention of ligating
by recommending it as a
secondary means of stopping a
• Rhazes of Arabia was credited
in 900 A.D. with first employing
„kit gut‟ to suture abdominal
wounds. The Arabic word „kit‟
means a dancing master‟s fiddle,
the musical strings of which „kit
string‟ were made up of sheep
intestines. Over the years „kit‟
was confused with kitten or cat,
and the misuse of the term was
• DEFINITION: suture material is an artificial
fibre used to keep wound together until they
hold sufficiently well by themselves by natural
fibre (collagen) which is synthesized and woven
into a stronger scar
• Suture is a Stitch/Series of Stiches made to
secure apposition of the edges of a
Surgical/Traumatic wound (Wilkins)
• Any Strand of Material utilised to ligate blood
vessels or approximate Tissues (Silverstein L.H
GOALS OF SUTURING
Suturing is performed to
Provide adequate tension
Provide support for tissue
Reduce post-op pain
Prevent bone exposure
Permit proper flap position
• The basic purpose of a suture is to hold
severed tissues in close approximation
until the healing process provides the
wound with sufficient strength to
withstand stress without the need for
• Since wounds do not gain strength until
4-6 days after injury, the tissues are
approximated till then by sutures.
The amount of tension or pull the
suture can withstand before
breaking is important.
Tensile St α diameter of suture
If the diameter of suture is
doubled, T.S is quadrupled.
Suture material should be atleast as
strong as the tissues in which they
are used. By the end of 2nd week,
when most skin sutures are removed,
the wound would have attained 3%-
7% of final Tensile St.
3rd week – 20% of T.S
4th week – 50% of T.S
Wounds will never regain more than
80% of Tensile St. of intact skin
REQUISITES OF AN IDEAL
• Tensile st: adequate material strength
will prevent suture breakdown & use of
proper knots for the material used will
prevent untying or knot slippage.
• Tissue biocompatibility: sutures made
from organic material will evoke a higher
tissue response than synthetic sutures.
tissue reaction α amount & size of
• Low capillarity: multifilament type soak
up tissue fluid by capillary action
providing a rich medium for microbes
increasing chances of inflammation &
• Good handling & knotting properties:
ease of tying & a thread type that
permits minimal knot slippage also
influence thread selection.
• Sterilization without deterioration of
properties: most sutures available in
packages are sterilized by dry heat &
ethylene oxide gas.
• Non allergic, non electrolytic and non
• Its use should be possible in any
• Low cost
• It should not fray, should slide through
tissues readily & knot should not slip after
• It should be readily visualized , should not
shrink & should not be extruded from the
• On break down ,it should not release toxic
• It should disappear without excessive
reaction once its task is completed.
CLASSIFICATION OF SUTURE
According to source:
According to structure 1. Monofilament
According to fate:
1. Absorbable (undergo degradation and
lose T.S. < 60 days)
2. Non absorbable ( maintain T.S > 60
According to coating: 1. Coated
Silk worm gut
• Smooth surface
• Less tissue trauma
• No bacterial
• No capillarity
• Handling and
• Any nick or crimp in
the material leads
Non absorbable sutures are categorized
by the United States Pharmacopeia
Class I - Silk or synthetic fibers of
monofilaments with twisted or braided
Class II - Cotton or linen fibers, coated
natural or synthetic fibers in which the
coating does not contribute to T.S
Class III - Metal wire of monofilament or
SELECTION OF SUTURE
A variety of suture materials and suture/needle
combinations is available. The choice of suture
for a particular procedure is based on the known
physical and biologic characteristics of the
suture material and the healing properties of the
Principles of suture selection
The selection of suture material by a
surgeon must be based on a sound
• Healing characteristics of the tissues
which are to be approximated,
• The physical and biological properties of
the suture materials,
• The condition of the wound to be closed
• The probable post-operative course of
1. Rate of healing of tissues:
• When a wound has reached maximal strength,
sutures are no longer needed.
• Tissues that ordinarily heal slowly such as skin,
fascia and tendons should usually closed with non –
• Tissues that heal rapidly such as peritoneum, liver,
small intestine, muscles, stomach ,colon and
bladder may be closed with absorbable sutures.
• Suture should be stronger than the sutured
tissues, and it is unwise to implant more material
• Avoid multifilament sutures as
bacteria can linger with them and
may convert a contaminated wound
into an infected one.
• Use monofilament absorbable or
non- absorbable sutures in
potentially contaminated tissues.
Monofilament polypropylene is
3. cosmetic results :
• Where cosmetic results are important,
close and prolonged apposition of
wounds and avoidance of irritants will
produce the best results. Therefore use
a smallest, inert monofilament suture
materials such as poly amide and
• Avoid skin sutures and close
subcuticularly whenever possible
• Under certain circumstances, to secure
close apposition of skin edges , skin
closure tape may be used
4. cardiovascular surgery:
• Monofilament polypropylene, polyester,
coated and un coated and braided
surgical silk are recommended.
• Monofilament polypropylene being smooth,
possess high TS is the material of choice
for vascular anastomosis. This material
does not encourage any thrombus
• Polyester is preferred for suturing
artificial heart valves, myocardium and
5. Microsurgical procedure:
• Most commonly used suture is 10-0 poly
6.wound repair in patients following
• In this group of patients ,not only the
normal healing process is delayed but the
tolerance to the trauma of irradiated tissue
is markedly reduced . So
• Extremely careful and gentle
Avoid tension sutures and
mattress sutures as they further increase
the degree of ischemia.
Closure in layers
Avoid continuous and constant
pressure on irradiated tissues.
Fascial layer –non-absorbable
sutures, polypropylene is ideal
The selection of suture material is based
The condition of the wound,
The tissues to be repaired,
The tensile strength of the suture
Knot-holding characteristics of the
suture material and
The reaction of surrounding tissues to
the suture materials.
ABSORPTION OF SUTURE
Degraded either by enzymatic process as in gut
sutures, or by hydrolysis, as in many of the
synthetic materials like glycolic acid,
ployglactin910 or polydioxanone.
Non absorbable sutures are walled off or
In infected tissues or in a patient who is febrile or
protein deficient, suture breakdown may be
If the loss of TS outpaces the healing phase,
failure of the wound results.
Absorbable sutures must be placed well into the
BIOLOGIC RESPONSE OF BODY TO SUTURE MATERIALS
• The initial body response to sutures is almost
identical in the first 4-7 days, regardless of the
• The early response is a generalized acute aseptic
inflammation, involving primarily polymorphonuclear
• After few days mononuclear cells, fibroblasts &
histiocytes become evident.
• Capillary formation occurs at the end of this initial
Sutures passing through mucous membrane or
skin provide a „wick‟ or pathway through which
bacteria track down, and bacteria gain access
to underlying tissues.
The longer the suture remains, the deeper the
epithelial invasion of the underlying tissue.
When suture removed, epithelial tract remains.
These cells may eventually disappear or remain
to form keratin and epithelial inclusion cysts.
The epithelial pathway result in typical
„railroad scar‟ formation.
Gut / cat gut
Oldest known absorbable suture.
Galen referred to gut suture as early as 175
Derived from sheep intestinal sub mucosa or
bovine intestinal serosa.
Submucosa of sheep has a rich elastic tissue
content which accounts for high tensile strength
of the catgut. It is monofilament and is available
in the plain form as well as “tanned” in chromic
acid. The tanning process delays the digestion by
white blood cell lysozymes.
• Catgut should not be boiled or autoclaved as heat
destroys its tensile strength.
• Catgut is sterilized during preparation and kept in a
preservative solution (isopropyl alcohol) inside spools
or foils. Unused and reusable catgut is hygroscopic
so, catgut will swell due to water absorption and its
tensile strength will be reduced .
• Absorption :40-60 days
• When placed intra orally sutures are digested in 3-
• It is available pre-sterilized in aluminium-
coated sterile foil overwrap pack with
ethicon fluid as a preservative.
• Colour: Plain catgut is yellow, while
chromic catgut is tan
• Absorbtion: Catgut is absorbed by
proteolytic digestive enzymes released
from inflammatory cells collected around
the catgut. So, in the presence of
infection catgut is rapidly absorbed.
Coated with thin layer of chromium salt
solution to minimize tissue reaction,
increase TS, slow the absorption rate,
better knot security, and ease of
TS – 10-14 days
Absorbed in 90 days
Uses:Opthalmic surgery (6-0)
Suture subcutaneous tissues
As it is an organic material and
susceptible to enzymatic degradation,
packed in isopropyl alcohol as a
preservative. Also condition or soften
Suture absorbs alcohol and swells. It is
combustible and is also irritating to
tissues. It is removed by a quick rise
in saline prior to use.
Natural, absorbable, monofilament
Obtained by homogenous dispersion of
pure collagen fibrils from the flexor
tendons of cattle.
Absorption – 56 days
TS - < 10% after 10 days.
Used in opthalmic surgery
Disadvantage of premature absorption.
POLYGLACTIN 910 (VICRYL) Polyglactic
Coated and uncoated
Lactide has hydrophobic qualities→delaying loss of
TS - 14 – 21 days.
Absorption – 56-70 days.
Minimal tissue reactivity and can be used in
Available in purple and undyed. Undyed used on
Coated with polyglactin 370 and calcium stearate
which allows easy passage through tissues as well
as easier knot placement.
On skin wounds, associated with delayed
absorption as well as increased inflammation.
• It is braided synthetic absorbable suture material.
• Colour: White.
• It has a similar initial high tensile strength as that of
the normal vicryl suture.
• It gives wound support upto 12 days. It shows 50% of
the original tensile strength after 5 days and all of its
tensile strength is lost after 14 days.
• Its absorption is associated with minimal tissue reaction
facilitating improved cosmetics and reduction of
• The absorption is essentially complete
within 35-42 days.
• Uses: Low tensile strength and Rapid
absorption rate --Ideal for intra-oral
use (dental surgeries).
VICRYL plus ANTIBACTERIAL SUTURE
• Handles and
performs same as
• In vitro studies
shown that triclosan
on VICRYL plus
creates a zone of
GLYCOLIC ACID HOMOPOLYMER
(DEXON) POLYGLYCOLIC ACID
Polymer of glycolic acid with greater knot pull
and TS than gut.
Synthetic, absorbable, braided
Absorption- hydrolysis, which results in
minimal tissue reactivity.
Braided and so catches on itself, and knot
tying and passage through tissues difficult.
Does not tolerate wound infection and not
GLYCOLIC ACID (MAXON)
-Synthetic, absorbable, monofilament.
-Polyglycolic acid and trimethylene carbonate
-TS – 14-21 days (>Dexon)
Absorption – Hydrolysis in 180 days
In vitro studies by Edlich and co-workers (1973)
have suggested that the degradation products of
polyglycolic acid and nylon sutures - glycolic acid,
1,6-hexane diamine and adipic acid are
POLYDIOXANONE (PDS II)
Polyester derivative poly P dioxanone.
TS -14-42 days
Absorption – Hydrolysis in 6 months.
Passes through tissues easily.
Significant memory – compromises the
ease of knot-tying and knot security.
Minimal tissue reaction
For wounds under tension and
May extrude through the wound over
time. So used only in tissues deeper
than subcuticular layer. Or if in face 6-
-Braided or twisted
-Made from the filament spun by silkworm larva
to form its cocoon. Each filament is
processed to remove the natural waxes and
sericin gum. After braiding, the strands are
dyed, stretched and impregnated with a
mixture of waxes and silicone. Dry silk suture
is stronger than wet silk suture.
Ease of handling – more for braided
Good knot security
made non capillary in order to withstand action
of body fluids & moisture.(wax or silicon coated)
Should not be used in presence of infection
Plastic surgery, ophthalmic and general
surgeries, ligating body tissues.
Although characterized as non-absorbable,
studies show that it loses most of their
TS after 1 yr. and cannot be detected
in tissues after 2 yrs.
Natural, multifilament, non absorbable
From stable Egyptian cotton fibers
good knot security
Not good in presence of contaminated
wounds or infection
Rarely used nowadays
Most body tissues for ligating and
Natural, multifilament, non absorbable
Made from stable flax fibers
Poor TS and so not for suturing under
Ligation of superficial vessels
Mucosal suturing without stress
-Polymer of propylene.
-Inert and TS for 2 yrs
-Holds knots better than other synthetic
-Minimal suture reaction and so used in infected
and contaminated wounds.
-Do not adhere to tissues and is flexible. So
used for „pull-out‟ type of sutures.
General, plastic, cardiovascular surgery, skin
NYLON – BRAIDED (SURGILON,
Synthetic, non absorbable
Inert polyamide polymer
Braided and sealed with silicon coating
Look, handle and feel like silk, but
Multifilament nylon is weaker and less
secure when knotted, offering little
advantage over monofilament nylon.
NYLON MONOFILAMENT (DERMALON,
Uncoated, but inert and non irritating to
High TS and low tissue reactivity
Some memory and return to original
linear shape over time. Because of this
more throws (4 throws) indicated.
Moistened nylon monofilament are more
easily handled and are packaged wet.
Skin closure, retention, plastic, ophthalmic
POLYESTER – BRAIDED
Tycron, Mersilene -Uncoated
Dacron, Ethibond - Coated (with polybutilate)
Multifilament fibers of polyester
Excellent TS which is maintained indefinitely
Uncoated is rougher and stiffer than coated form
Coated provides -low infection rate
-easy passage through
In deeper layers, may last indefinitely.
Extremely low tissue reaction, good knot
tensile strenghtand ease of handling.
All type of soft tissue approximation and
Absorbable, synthetic, monofilament
Poliglecaprone 25; copolymer of glycolide
Hydrolysis 90-120 days
Tissue reaction – minimal
Good knot strength
Used for soft tissue closure
Most pliable material ever made
-New, monofilament, nonabsorbable, synthetic
-Made of polyglycol trephthate and polybutylene
terephthalate and is considered as a modified polyester
-No significant memory compared to polypropylene and
nylon. Easier to manipulate and greater knot security.
-Unique feature is their ability to elongate or stretch
with increasing wound edema. When edema subsides,
suture resumes original shape; so it is an ideal suture
for lacerations secondary to blunt trauma.
-TS high and lasts longer
-Minimal tissue reactivity.
-Popularity in cutaneous surgery is gradually
Natural, monofilament/multifilament, non
Alloy of iron, nickel and chromium
Good TS even in infection
Difficult to handle and tendency to cut
through tissues. Very hard to tie, and knot
ends require special handling.
Potential to corrode or break at points
of twisting, bending or knotting.
Not to be used with a prosthesis of
Used in abdominal wall and skin closure,
sternal closure, retention, tendon
repair, orthopedic and neurosurgery.
OMFS- for suspension of splints or
arch bars and not as suture material.
1.Linear artifacts caused by substances with
high atomic number on CT images
2.Possible movement of metal suture during
3.Patch test for nickel sensitivity should be
METRIC GUAGE IMPERIAL GUAGE
NEEDLE SIZE &
DO NOT REUSE
SEE INSTRUCTIONS FOR USE
EXPIRY DATE BATCH NO
• Largest size 1 to extremely fine 11-0.
Increasing number of zeroes correlates with
decreasing suture diameter and strength.
• Thicker sutures are used for approximation of
deeper layers, wounds in tension prone areas
and for ligation of blood vessels.
• Thin sutures are used for closing delicate
tissues like conjunctiva and skin incisions of the
face. Size is chosen to correlate with the
tensile strength of the tissue being sutured.
3-0 or 4-0 OMFS, muscle, deep skin
5-0 or 6-0 facial skin closure
9-0 or 10-0 microsurgery
Surgical needles are designed to lead
suture material through tissue with
minimal injury. Needles can be
- straight (GIT) or curved
- swaged or eyed
Made up of either SS or carbon steel.
Needle is selected according to:
-type of tissue to be sutured
-diameter of suture material.
Made up of either SS or carbon steel.
CLASSIFICATION OF SURGICAL NEEDLES
1.According to eye -eye less needles
-needles with eye
2.According to shape -straight needles
. -curved needles
3.According to cutting edge
a) round body
b) cutting -conventional
• 4.According to its tip -triangular tip
• 5.Others -spatula needles
-micro point needles
Ideal Properties Of Needles
• High quality stainless steel
• Smallest diameter possible
• Capable of implanting sutures with minimal trauma
• Stable in the needle holder
• Should be sharp.
• Sterile and corrosion resistant.
Length of needle
The linear distance between eye and
The distance between eye and tip
following the curvature
The distance of the body of the
needle from the centre of the circle
Gauge or thickness of the metal wire
out of which the needle is made.
COMPONENTS OF SURGICAL NEEDLE
1. The eye
2. The body; and
The eye can be - closed
Shape of the eye may be - round
- oblong; or
Open French-eye needle is easy to load with
varying caliber, but has additional bulk.
Eyed require threading prior to
use, results in pulling a double
strand through tissue. Tying the
suture to the eye increases bulk
of suture material drawn through
tissues. So they are also called
Most suture materials and
needles are difficult to sterilize.
Needles are also difficult to
clean after use and become blunt
and workhardened so that they
Suture loop inserted through eye
Loop placed over tip
Loop drawn back
Suture tied on eyed needle
• Swaged needles do not require threading and
permit a single strand of suture material to be
• Suture attached to needle via a hole drilled
through the end of the needle, and the end is
swaged during manufacturing.
• It is atraumatic and
act as a single unit.
• Prepacked and presterilized
by gamma radiation.
Needle attached to suture
Favourable for I/O use but expensive
Less tissue damage
New needle each time
• Body is the widest portion of the needle
• It is known as grasping area.
-Most commonly used are 3/8 circle. They can be
easily manipulated in large and superficial wounds
and require only less wrist movement.
-1/2 circle used for suturing tissues in small wounds,
and body cavities and orifices. Require less space,
but more supination and pronation of wrist
-5/8 used in oral cavity.
RADIUS OF CURVATURE OF THE
Needle of choice for the skin
Limited use in oral surgery
May be used in surgery of the
nose, pharynx, tendons
Needle of choice for microsurgery
associated with very fine sutures;
Oral surgery, flap surgery, wound
closure after placement of
osseointegrated implants and GTR
May be used in all surgical wounds
Needle of choice in oral surgery
Wide range of uses in many
Wounds of the urogenital tract
Point runs from tip to the max. cross sectional
area of the body.
• Can be -triangular tip/cutting
• Cutting needles are Ideal for suturing keratinized
tissues like skin, palatal mucosa, subcuticular
layers and for securing drains.
• Round/tapered needles used for closing
mesenchymal layers such as muscle or fascia that
are soft and easily penetrable
• The conventional
cutting point has two
opposing cutting edges
and third edge on the
inside curvature of the
• The reverse cutting
point has two opposing
cutting edges and third
cutting edge on the
outer curvature of the
• The tapered point is used primarily on soft,
easily penetrated tissues . it leaves small hole
and can be used in vascular surgery as well as
fascial soft tissue surgery.
• The blunt point has a rounded end which does
nt cut through the tissue .it is used in friable
tissue suturing or to the parotid duct or
• Sharpened 12 times
• Designated as C or FS
(CUTICULAR or FOR SKIN)
• Sharpened an additional
• Designated as P or PS or
(PREMIUM or PLASTIC
SURGERY or PRECISION
• Needles in the PC series
are made up of stronger
SS alloy and have
• Curvature of the needle is selected according to
the accessibility. The needle must exit in a
visible spot so that the surgeon is aware of the
position of the point of the needle at all the
• Try to match the needle thickness with suture
diameter .it is not appropriate to use wide thick
needle with small suture material . This will
cause laxity of immediate suture line and allows
bacterial contamination & ingrowth of epithelium
& in vascular surgery it may allow oozing of blood
Placement of a Needle into the Tissue
Force should always be applied in the
direction that follows the curvature of
Movable to a non-movable tissue.
Only sharp needles with minimal force.
Never force the needle through the
Avoid retrieving the needle from the
tissue by the tip.
Grasp the needle in the body 1/4th to
half of the length from the swaged
Do not hold the needle by the swaged
area or the eye.
Avoid excessive tissue bites with small
needles, as it will be difficult to
• The needle holder is used to handle
the suture needle and thread while
suturing the surgical wound.
• If used properly it enables the
surgeon to perform procedures
correctly and with great precision.
PARTS OF NEEDLE HOLDER
• Working tip/ jaws
• Hinge device
• Catch mechanism/ ratchet
• Grip area
There are different types of needle holders.
The beaks may be short or long, broad or
narrow, slotted or flat, concave or convex,
smooth or serrated. Commonly used have a
locking hand and short beaks and 6’ long
Gilles needle holder (scissors incorporated into
Kilner needle holder
• Atraumatic needle holder ensures
needle movement and compatibility of
clamping movement. It has textured
tungsten carbide jaw inserts, and its
rounded needle holder jaw edges do not
cause structural damage to
monofilament suture or needle
GILLES NEEDLE HOLDER
Scissors are incorporated into the blades
MAYO HAGER NEEDLE
YASARGIL MICRO NEEDLE HOLDER
Gripping needle holder
The scissor grip
Used in the anterior part of the mouth and in
areas of easy access
The instrument is stabilized with the index finger
• Used in the deeper parts of oral
Use appropriate size for
Grasped 1/4 to ½ distance
from swaged area
Tips of the jaws should
meet before remaining
portion of jaw
Needle placed securely
Do not overclose
Always directed by
Do not use digital pressure
PRINCIPLES OF SUTURING
1.Needle grasped at 1/4th to half the
distance from eye.
2.Needle should enter perpendicular to
3.Needle passed along its curve
4.The bite should be equal on both sides of the
wound margin and the point of the entry of the
needle should be closer to the wound edge than
its point of exit on the deep surface
5.The bite should be about 2-3 mm from the wound
margin of the flap because after wound closure
the edge of the wound softens due to
collagenolysis and the holding power is impaired.
6. Usually the needle to be passed from mobile side to the
fixed side but not always(exception in lingual
mucoperiosteum flap) and from thinner to thicker & from
deeper to superficial flap.
7.The tissues should not be closed under tension , since they
will either tear or necrose around the the suture
8.Tie to approximate; not to blanch
9.Knot must not lie on incision line
10.The distance b/w one suture to
another should be about 3-4 mm apart
to prevent strangulation of the tissue &
to allow escape of the serum or
inflammatory exudate & to get more
strength of the wound.
11.Sutures placed at a greater depth than distance
from the incision to evert wound margins
12.Close deep wounds in layers
13.Avoid retrieving needle by tip
14.Adequate tissue bite to prevent tearing
15.sutures should have correct tension while tying
knot for provision of the slight edema post
operatively, more tensioned sutures cause
ischemia of the edges of the incision
causes tearing of the tissues
may leave suture mark
edges may get overlapped
16.Occasionally extra tissue may be present on
one side of incision and cause DOG EAR to be
formed in the final phase of wound closure.
• Simply extending the length of the incision to
hide the exists will produce an unsatisfactory
• Thus after undermining excess tissue incision
is made at approx. 300 to parent incision
directed towards undermined side. Extra
tissue is pulled over incision and appropriate
amount is excised. Incision is closed in normal
1.INTERRUPTED SIMPLE SUTURE
Most commonly used. Inserted singly through side
of the wound and tied with a surgeon’s knot.
Strong and can be used in areas of stress
Placed 4-8 mm apart to close large wounds, so that
tension is shared
Each is independent and loosening one will not
produce loosening of the other
Degree of eversion produced
In infection or hematoma, removal of few sutures
Free of interferences b/w each stitch and easy to
2. SIMPLE CONTINUOUS / RUNNING
A simple interrupted
suture placed and needle
reinserted in a continuous
fashion such that the
to the incision line below
and obliquely above.
Ended by passing a knot
over the untightened end
of the suture.
Rapid technique and distributes tension
More water tight closure (Shoen, 1975)
Only 2 knots with associated tags
If cut at one point, suture slackens along
the whole length of the wound which will
then gape open.
Similar to continuous but locking provided by
withdrawing the suture through its own loop.
Indicated in long edentulous areas, tuberosities
or retromolar area.
Will avoid multiple knots
Distributes tension uniformly
Water tight closure
Prevents excessive tightening.
adjustment of tension over
suture line as tissue swelling
Specially designed for use in
skin. It passes at 2 levels, one
deep to provide support and
adduction of wound surfaces at a
depth and one superficial to
draw the edges together and
Used for closing deep wounds
This approximates subcutaneous
and skin edges
Needle passed from one edge to the other and again from
latter edge to the fist and knot tied.
When needle is brought back from second flap to the first,
depth of penetration is more superficial.
• for better adaptation and maximum tissue
• To get eversion of wound margins slightly
• Where healing is expected to be delayed for any
reason, it is better to give wound added support by
vertical mattress. Used to control soft tissue
• Runs parallel to the blood supply of the edge of the
flap and therefore not interfering with healing.
• Uses: abdominal surgeries & closure of skin wounds.
It everts mucosal or skin margins, bringing
greater areas of raw tissue into contact. So used
for closing bony deficiencies such as oro-antral
fistula or cystic cavities.
Disadvantage: constricts the blood supply to
edges of incision.
Needle passed from one
edge to the other and
again from the latter to
the first and a knot is tied.
Distance of needle
penetration and depth of
penetration is same for
each entry point, but
horizontal distance of the
points of penetration on
the same side of the flap
Will evert mucosal or skin margins, bringing greater
areas of raw tissue into contact.
-So used for closing bony deficiencies such as oro-
antral fistula or cystic cavities, extraction socket
• Prevents the flap from being inverted into the cavity.
• To control post-operative hemorrhage from gingiva
around the tooth socket to tense the mucoperiosteum
over the underlying bone.
• It does not cut through the tissue ,so used
in case of tissue under tension
• More trouble to insert
• Constricts the blood supply to the incision
if improperly used, cause wound necrosis
6. FIGURE OF 8 SUTURE
Used for extraction socket closure and for
adaption of gingival papilla around the tooth
Suturing begun on buccal surface 3-4mm from
the tip of the papilla so as to prevent tearing of
Needle first inserted into the
outer surface of the buccal flap
and then the lingual flap.
Needle again inserted in same
fashion at a horizontal distance
and then both ends tied.
7. SUBCUTICULAR SUTURE
Used to close deep wounds in layers. Knots
will be inverted or buried, so that the knot
does not lie between the skin margin and
cause inflammation or infection.
To bury the knot, first pass of the needle
should be from within the wound and
through the lower portion of the dermal
layer. Needle then passed through the
dermal layer and emerge through
subcutaneous tissue and knot tied
8.CONTINUOUS SUBCUTICULAR SUTURE
lateral stitches are
taken beneath the
epithelial layer of the
skin. The ends of the
suture come out at each
end of the incision and
Excellent cosmetic result
Useful in wounds with strong skin tension,
especially for patients prone to keloid formation.
Anchor suture in wound and, from apex, take
bites below the dermal-epidermal layer
Start next stitch directly opposite the one that
9.PURSE STRING SUTURE
A circular pattern that draws together
the tissue in the path of the suture when
the ends are brought together and tied.
Sutured knot has 3 components
1.Loop created by knot
2.Knot itself which is composed
of a number of tight throws
3.Ears which are the cut ends of
Principles of knot tying
Use the simplest knot that will prevent slippage.
Tying the knot as small as possible and cutting the
ends of the suture as short as reasonable to
minimize foreign body reaction.
Avoid friction or sawing
Avoid damage to suture material
Avoid excessive tension
Tying sutures too tightly strangulates the tissue
Maintenance of traction at one end of the
suture after the first loop is thrown, to avoid
loosening of the knot.
Placing the final throw as horizontally as
possible to keep knot flat
Limiting extra throws to the knot, as they do
not add strength to a properly tied knot.
Formed by wrapping the
suture around the needle
holder once in opposite
directions between the
ties. Atleast 3 ties are
Best for gut, silk, cotton
Formed by 2 throws on the first tie and one
throw in the opposite direction in the second
tie. Recommended for tying polyester suture
materials such as Vicryl and Mersiline
A tie in one direction followed by a tie in
the same direction and a third tie in the
opposite direction to square the knot and
hold it permanently.
Skin wounds regain TS slowly. It can be
removed in 3-10 days when the wound
gained 5%-10% of final TS. Skin sutures on
face removed between 3-5 days. Alternate
sutures removed on 3rd day and remaining
sutures after 2 days.
- Mucoperiosteal closure (without tension)
- Where there is tension on the suture
eg : Oro-antral fistula- 7-10 days
Back and legs where cosmesis is less important –
Continuous subcuticular can be left for 3-4
weeks without formation of suture tracks
A good guide is that as soon as they begin to get
loose they should be taken out.
Suture area is first cleaned with normal saline.
The suture is grasped with non-tooth dissecting forceps
and lifted above the epithelial surface.
Scissors are then passed through one loop and then
transected close to the surface to avoid dragging
contaminated suture material through tissues.
The suture is then pulled out towards incision line to
prevent dehiscence.If suture entrapped in a scab,
application of hydrogen peroxide or saline solution is
If pieces of suture left, infection or granuloma
formation can ensue.
• Possible Complication Of
Leaving Suture For Many Days
2.Suture scarring or stitch mark
3.Implanted dermoid cyst
-General purpose scissors
-Used for cutting sutures
-Can also be used to trim mucosal margins.
Suture marks are caused by 3 factors
1.Skin sutures left in place longer than 7
days, resulting in epithelialisation of
2.Tissue necrosis from sutures that were
tied too tightly or became tight due to
3.Use of reactive sutures in the skin.
Other Methods of Wound
• Ligating clips
• Skin staples
• Surgical tape
• Surgical adhesives
Mechanical wound closure
Ligating clips :
• can be resorbable or non resorbable.
• Made up of SS,tantalum or titanium or
• Designed for the ligation of tubular
• Used for skin closure .
• Made up of SS.
• They are placed uniformly to span
the incision line.
• They have minimal tissue reaction .
• Can be used for routine skin closure
any where in the body.
• As the clips do not penetrate skin, yet give
apposition, the cosmetic result is excellent.
• Speed and efficacy of stapling is more
compared to sutures.
• Suturing causes more necrosis than stapling in
• Most significant advance is the introduction of
absorbable staples (Lactomer).
• Contra indicated when it is not
possible to maintain atleast 5mm
distance from the stapled skin to the
underlying bone and blood vessels.
Microporous tape is used alone or in conjugation
with skin sutures to decrease tension at the wound
The surgical tapes have a backing of viscous rayon
fibers coated with an adhesive copolymer and they
are pervious to sweat but not to blood or purulent
Comes in 1/8, 1/4, and 1/2 inch wide strips. Skin
margin is prepared with tincture of benzoin to
provide better adhesiveness for tape.
Used to decrease skin tension on
Minimizes wound dehiscence and allows earlier
Provides continuous support for the wound and
minimizes scar expansion
Avoids the ordeal of suture replacement and
removal in children
Less inflammatory reaction, lower rate of wound
infection, greater TS and better cosmetic results.
No needle puncture marks and suture canals
Strangulation and necrosis of tissue are eliminated
Sterile paper tape is non expensive
Do not evert edges of the wound, and readily loosen
when wet by blood or serum.
Prior to placement, a thin coat of antibiotic ointment
is placed on wound margin to protect wound from
skin oils and bacteria.
While removing, to avoid epithelial margin
separation, the ends should be lifted equally towards
the wound margin and then lifted evenly from the
- n-butyl cyanoacrylate is the active ingredient.
Strong bonding to tissues in presence of moisture
Biodegradable, bacteriostatic & hemostatic.
Reduced post operative pain & facilitates healing.
Good shelf life.
Produces little or no heat during polymerisation.
Bonding is by secondary intermolecular forces aided
by mechanical interlocking of irregular forces.
Quick, atraumatic and cost effective with good
No injection, suturing and post-op suture removal.
1.When applied for skin closure, the polymer acts as
barrier, prevents wound apposition, delays healing,
and increases the infection rate.
2.Should not be allowed to come in contact with tissue
under skin as it causes necrosis.
• Suturing techniques in oral surgery –Sandro
• Atlas of Minor Oral Surgery- Harry Dym
• Laskin vol-1
• Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Vol 1- W. Harry
• Textbook of oral & maxillofacial surgery-
Neelima Anil Malik
• Minor Oral Surgery- Goeffrey L.Howe
• Text book of surgery: Sabiston