The Different Types of Sutures

Surgical sutures are used to hold together body tissues after a patient undergoes surgery or after an accident. We have two types of sutures i.e., absorbable & non-absorbable sutures. While the absorbable sutures tend to break down in the body naturally, non-absorbable sutures are removed after a certain period because they are made of synthetic material.

This article will go through the two different types of sutures, the materials, and any helpful information on both types of sutures.

Absorbable Sutures

Absorbable sutures are used for the internal body parts of a patient because they naturally break down. They are also applicable if the patient is not able to go back for a removal procedure.

Polyglycolic acid, caprolactone, catgut, polylactic acid, and polydioxanone are used to make sutures. Absorbable sutures are also known as resorbable, and they are made of polymers. The polymer materials have one or more of the following five cyclic monomers; carbonate, glycolide, p-dioxanone, I-lactide, trimethylene, and ε-caprolactone. Here is more information you need to know about these monomers:

• Polyglycolic acid is a biodegradable polymer. The thermoplastic polymer material is flexible, moldable, and absorbed by the body over time. It can be absorbed in a patient's body within 60-90 days.

• Catgut is absorbed by the body entirely in 90 days, with the tensile strength lasting seven days. The absorption process occurs even faster when the material is used in parts with microorganisms. Catgut usually offers excellent knot security and high knot-pull tensile strength. The versatility of the catgut material makes it a good choice for all surgical procedures.

• Polylactic acid is a bioactive material. It is an absorbable thermoplastic aliphatic polyester and, therefore, its application in resorbable sutures.

• Polydioxanone is not only transparent but also a synthetic polymer. It completely absorbs within 180 days.

• Caprolactone, also known as ε-caprolactone. The monomer is a clear liquid that's typically used with poliglecaprone polymers to manufacture suture materials.

Absorbable sutures & polymer materials are broken down by proteolytic enzymatic hydrolysis and degradation. The different materials always have variable absorption completion times ranging from 10 days to 8 weeks.

Non-Absorbable Sutures

Typically, non-absorbable sutures are made of polypropylene, synthetics polyester, special silk, or nylon. These sutures are used to close wounds where the patient is expected to return for removal after a specific time. These sutures are sometimes used internally in case the absorbable sutures can't hold the wound closure area. Some of the wounds a non-absorbable suture can be used are high-pressure areas, for example, the bladder and heart.

Non-absorbable sutures have fewer blemishes and scarring when used to close wounds due to less foreign body response from the affected tissue.

Below are the highlights of non-absorbable sutures you need to know:

• They Consist of nylon, polypropylene polyester, or special silk

• They are required to be removed after a particular time

• Procedures that require the use of non-absorbable sutures are not standard but are occasionally done in higher pressure areas.

• They have Characteristically less scarring compared to absorbable sutures

It is essential to understand the different types of sutures just if you need to choose. Researching online and seeking professional advice is highly recommended.