Suture materials are used to bring together tissue or skin together in a wound or Surgical Laceration to aid in Healing of the wound.

Suture materials are divided into various types based on:

  • Absorbability
  • Source
  • Uni Filament or Multi Filament Type

What are the Differences and Advantages and Disadvantages of Unifilament and Multifilament Sutures:

  • Unifilament Suture helps in having a smooth surface which makes it easy to handle and reduces tissue trauma.
  • Multifilament suture makes it easy to give knots because of their flexibility but they often act as a source of infection and their braided nature of the suture can attract bacteria.

Classification of Suture material based on 2 factors, Absorb-ability and their Source.

Absorbabale Suture Material:

Absorbabale Suture materials get absorbed by:

  1. Digestion by Proteolytic enzymes released from the Polymorphonuclear cells
  2. Hydrolysis whereby the action of water on the suture causes the breakdown of the suture material

In Hydrolysis the the action increases with Rise in temperature or with a change in pH. The increase in Absorption of the suture material makes it loose its Tensile Strength. 

Natural Absorbable Suture material:

  • Catgut
  • Collagen
  • Cargile membrane
  • Kangaroo Tendon
  • Fascia lata

Synthetic Absorbable suture material:

  • Dexon – Polyglycolic Acid
  • Vicryl – Polyglactic Acid
  • PDS – Poludioxanone
  • Maxon – Polytrimethylene  Carbonate

Non-Absorbable Suture material:

These are made up of materials which resist enzymatic digestion and therefore need removal when applied on any site on the body. The Non-absorbable suture material is left in place for defined periods of time which is sufficient to heal the injury and until the tension lasts for the specific material.

What happens when a Non Absorbable Suture is left in place for prolonged periods of time ?

When any Non-absorbabale suture material is left in place without removing it can lead to:

  • Excessive Scarring
  • It acts as a Focus of Infection
  • Formation of Stitch Abscess
  • Formation of Stitch Sinus

Natural Non-adsorbable Suture Material:

  • Silk
  • Linen
  • Cotton

Synthetic Non-absorbable Suture Material:

  • Nylon
  • Polypropylene (Prolen, Surgilene)
  • Braided Polysters (Ethibond, Ethiflex, Mersiline, Dacron)
  • Polybuteste (Novafil)