The History of Suturing: How It All Got Started

One of the most common medical procedures is suturing. The art of suturing has been around for centuries. Today we will learn more about the history of suturing and how it has evolved other the years. If you are a medical student, this information can greatly benefit your chosen career path.

The First Known Practice of Suturing

It is believed that the ancient Egyptians were the first to use suturing in their medical practices. As far back as 3,000 BC, suturing was used to treat wounds. The materials they used for suturing were a bit different than the ones we use today. Back in Egyptian times, doctors would use hemp, silk, cotton, and animal tendons to seal wounds.

The 1800’s

During the 1800’s it became clear that the materials used for suturing needed to be sterile. During these times, the materials used for suturing were taken from the intestinal lining of certain animals, including goats and sheep. Before using this material, doctors would sterilize the sutures using a technique developed by Joseph Lister, a leading physician of the time.

The 1900’s

In the 1900s suture sterilization was taken to the next level. Radiation was used to sterilize sutures, making them safer to use. This new technique of sterilization helped reduce infection rates and prevented many deaths. Thanks to this advancement in technology, medical professionals could rest easy knowing the sutures they used wouldn’t harm their patients.

The 20th Century

Fast forward to the 20th century, and sutures have come a long way. Most of the materials now used for suturing are synthetic. These materials come in two different forms. Non-absorbable and absorbable sutures are the most common forms used today.

Non-Absorbable Sutures

Non-absorbable sutures will need to be removed by a medical professional once the wound has healed. Some of the common materials used for non-absorbable sutures are nylon, stainless steel, PVDF, and polyester.

Absorbable Sutures

Absorbable sutures are often preferred over non-absorbable sutures because they don’t need to be removed by a doctor. These sutures will dissolve on their own in around 10 days to 8 weeks, depending on the materials used to make them. Some of the most common materials used to make absorbable sutures include, silk, catgut, polylactic acid, Monocryl, and polyglycolic acid.

Practice Makes Perfect

As a medical student, one of the first things you will learn is how to apply sutures. You will learn the most common types of sutures and what they are used for. This is an important part of your medical education. Knowing how to perform this task is vital, and learning it can help save lives.

If you are having trouble learning how to suture, you should consider purchasing a suture practice kit. These kits will help you learn faster and master the art of suture in no time at all. Suture practice kits will give you the confidence you need, to perform this important medical procedure on actual patients.