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First Aid

Sutures, Suture Needles And Its Various Types

Suturing is the process of binding together the tissues, which had a cut or caused any damages to the tissues due to any accidents etc. So thus by binding together, the healing process also takes place and it is done with the aid of some specialized materials called sutures. There are various types of surgical needles. Various suture materials are used for different kinds of wounds and also differ with the situation a clinician encounters.

Suture Needles

Suture needles are broadly classified into two namely Curved and Straight. A curved needle can only be handled with forceps and a needle holder while a straight needle can be used without any instruments. Curved needles are mostly preferable since suturing with straight needles is difficult to handle and there is a higher risk of accidentally sticking yourself. The two types of curved needles are:

  • Cutting Needle
  • Tapered Needle
  1. Cutting needle: These kinds of suture needles are primarily used for skin. They are designed in such a way that they have a sharp edge and a sharp tip in order to pass through the skin.
  2. Tapered Needle: On the contrary, tapered needles have smooth edges, but they have a sharp tip like that of the cutting needle. These are primarily used on deeper, subcutaneous tissues, blood vessels, and intestinal anastomoses. They are less traumatic to the tissues in the vicinity. Tapered needles cannot be used for simple skin suturing since it is difficult to pass through the skin.

Suture Sizes

There are sutures of various sizes. Generally, sutures of sizes in the middle range are used which is denoted as 3-0 to 5-0. But it can be of the size 00, where it is the largest one used normally to close the abdominal wall or as small as 10-0, where it is used for microvascular anastomoses. This is as fine as human hair. In order to treat facial wounds, sutures of the size 5-0 or 6-0 are often preferred since these kinds of sutures are associated with decreased scarring. As the children’s skin is delicate smaller sutures are mostly preferred.

Types of suture material

There are mainly four types of suture materials. They are:

  1. Absorbable Sutures
  2. Non-Absorbable Sutures
  3. Braided Sutures
  4. Non-Braided Sutures

Absorbable Sutures: They are, as the name suggests will be dissolved by the body’s tissues and hence the greatest benefit is that, they are not needed to be removed but they will leave a more pronounced scar when used as a skin suture. And thus these kinds of sutures are mostly used for suturing under the skin, where it is not clearly revealed. Mostly used in children where only one time visit to the hospital is needed to treat the wound and also used because children are less co-operative in receiving treatment.

Non-Absorbable Sutures: They are not dissolved by the body, and hence have to be removed after the tissues are bonded well. They leave fewer scars since they are less tissue-reactive.

Braided Sutures: They are made by twisting several thin strands of suture materials. The main disadvantage of these surgical needles is that they have little interstices, where it is the place for the bacteria to hide and grow and thus the patient is more prone to infections.

Non-Braided Sutures: They are monofilament or just single stranded. They are mainly recommended for skin closures, specifically of those wounds which are in high risk of getting infected.


Source by Aleena Christopher

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