What are the different types of sutures?

Equipment used to place and remove sutures.

Sutures, or stitches, are a way to close an open wound to speed healing and generally ensure as little scarring as possible. There are many different types of sutures, the most commonly used being called interrupted suture. Among many others, additional types of sutures include continuous sutures and mattress sutures. Different types of suture have their advantages and disadvantages, and the use of a specific type depends on the type of wound that warrants suturing in the first place.

Most sutures require the same materials, allowing clinicians to use a universal suture kit for most stitches.

Interrupted suture is versatile. The needle penetrates the outer layer of the skin, as well as the layer below it on one side of the wound, and exits the other side of the wound. There should be symmetry in depth and width on each side of the suture. In addition, the entire suture should have a wider base in the layer below the skin, forming a vial. Each stitch that makes up the interrupted suture is tied up separately; that is, each stitch is tied and cut and the next stitch begins.

Some wounds require suturing.

Unlike interrupted suture, continuous suture uses an unbroken length of material, meaning it is unbroken. The first stitch is tied with a knot, but not cut, and the remaining stitches are not tied or cut until the last row. A running suture can be locked or unlocked, which means that each stitch is locked with the previous one by means of a loop. Although continuous suturing is faster to perform than interrupted suturing, it does not allow a better approximation of the wound edges.

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There are many sutures a doctor can use to close wounds, including interrupted sutures and various types of running sutures.

Mattress suture has many variations, from vertical to horizontal and half-buried to near-far-near-far. Essentially, suturing the mattress is done with two stitches parallel to the wound edge, the first stitch being deeper than the second, more superficial. Double stitching helps make the suture strong as each stitch goes through both sides of the wound twice. Pulley suturing is a variation of mattress suturing in which the vertical mattress stitch is left untied and is instead passed through another loop on one side of the wound, pulling tension from the other threads.

Stitches can be used after surgery to aid healing and prevent excessive scarring.

These three types of sutures aren’t the only ones that can be used to close a wound. There are many other types of sutures such as continuous blocking sutures and purse-string sutures. In general, however, many other sutures are simply different variations of others, such as the pulley suture being a variation of the mattress suture. The point of there being so many variations is that one type of suture may be more beneficial than others for closing a specific type of wound.

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