Overview of Suturing

More commonly known as stitches, a surgical suture is a device used to knit back together body tissues after a surgery done on a person, or because of an injury. The device that is used to do this procedure consists of a needle, and an appropriate length of thread attached to it.


The Attachments of a Suturing Device

The most important attachments of a suturing device are the needle and thread. Over the years, a number of different materials, both natural and artificial, have been used to make the threads. Similarly, the needles used primarily for suturing purposes have evolved from a number of different shapes and sizes to what we are used to today.


Eyed needles – These needles can be re-used. The eyes of the needle are supplied separately from their suture thread, and must be prepared on site for operations. Any thread and needle combination can be attempted with good results with this needle.


Atraumatic needles – Or swaged sutures that come with a pre-packed eyeless needle that is attached to a specific length of thread. This suturing device comprises of an eyeless atraumatic needle swaged or molded by the manufacturer, and comes pre-packaged with a specific length of thread.


The advantage of this type of suturing needle is that unnecessary time is not needed to thread the suture material on the needle.


There are various other types and sizes of surgical needles with which different wound cuts are operated and closed. They include:

  • Straight edged needle
  • Compound curve needle
  • Half curved at both ends of a straight segment (also known as a canoe needle)
  • Half curved or ski needle
  • Spiral needles


The Techniques Used For Suturing

Suturing is a method by which wounds that are related to injury or surgery done on a person are closed, and the technique used to do this is nearly 1000 years old.


The only change came with the materials used for suturing and the different aspects of the technique; however, the primary reason for performing such an operation has remained the same and that is:

  • To close dead space
  • To give support and strength to the wound, until natural process of healing kicks in
  • To present the wound for an aesthetical and a functional end result
  • To minimize the risk of bleeding and infection


Factors Contributing To Aesthetic Wound Suturing

Gentle handling of the scarred tissue is very important for increasing healing capability of the wound. The post-operation appearance of the wound should consist of a flawlessly designed flap, with crossed and zigzagged sutures over the wound, placed with a meticulous and steady hand.
However, if the incorrect suture technique is used to close the wound, or the execution is poor the end result will come out to be grossly disfigured.


You can read more on suturing techniques here.


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