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Suture materials

Used to approximate while healing takes place and to ligate blood vessels or ducts during surgery

Regulated properties of sutures

Size, tensile strength, and sterility.


United States Pharmacopeia


The larger the number on the suture the (smaller/larger) the suture's thickness

Brown and Sharp (B&S) guage

Alternate method used to indicate the diameter of stainless steel wires and sutures


(All/some) sutures are double-wrapped in peel-apart envelopes

Gut suture

Must be dipped, but not soaked to soften it and prevent tissue drag

Dry packed sutures

Should be stretched slightly to remove excess memory

Pliability aka flexability

Describes the stiffness of a material

Nylon suture

Suture that has a high memory

Tissue drag

Friction of the suture against the tissue


The amt. of stretch or elongation by a suture when it is pulled


The weakest part of the suture.


Tendency to resist knot slippage. Determines if a knot will lie smooth and remain snug when tied

High reactivity

Causes inflammation, discomfort, delayd healing, or failure to heal, and possible infection


The property of multifilament strands to absorb moisture or body fluids. May draw more bacteria into the would.

Natural suture

Made from naturally occuring tissue or plants such as collagen or cotton

Synthetic suture

Formed of manufactured materials

Nonabsorbable suture

Remain in the body for an indefinite or undetermined period of time

Absorbable suture

Digested by the body within a short time

Surgical gut

Natural material derived from sheep intestine or serosa of beef intestine

Fibrin glue

Used on open wounds. The most common type of tissue adhesive used in surgery

Synthetic cement

Methyl methacrylate. Is used to secure prosthetic implants into bone and in cranioplasty.

Surgical mesh

Used to reinforce wounds. Used in hernia repair to strengthen the defect

Phases of wound healing

Substrate, proliferative, and remodeling

Substrate phase

Lasts 1-4 days

Proliferative phase

Lasts 5-20 days

Remodeling phase

Lasts 22 days to 1 year

Complications of wound healing

Infection, tissue trauma, wound tension, and dehiscence

Third intention healing

Also known as delayed closure

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