Suturing techniques are used to hold and strengthen body tissues to help wounds heal after surgery or due to an injury. The techniques minimize bleeding and prevent infections. They are available in two types: non-absorbable and absorbable sutures. The absorbable sutures are made of natural material that breaks down and is absorbed in the body with time.
On the other hand, non-absorbable sutures have to be removed after some time because they are made of synthetic material that the body cannot absorb. Read on to know about six suturing techniques and their benefits.
A suture practice kit is a must-have for anyone who's aspiring to become a medic, veterinarian or physician.
It should be noted that not all suture kits are alike, and you'll find that some are better than others. To prevent you from wasting time and money finding the right one, here's a short guide to help you out.
If you're a medical student and you're trying to take your skills to the next level, you might be wondering how to practice suturing so that you can do it more effectively in a hospital setting. Fortunately, education has come a long way when it comes to effectively teaching students how to do such things. However, that doesn't mean that you might not need some extra practice on your own in order to keep your skills in tip-top shape. If that's the case, you might consider taking a refresher course. It's also a good idea to choose a good suture practice kit that you can use at home. The course will help you to better understand the different types of sutures, which will be discussed later. Last but certainly not least, you need to know what you can practice on so that you're getting the best experience possible.
The selection of suture to approximate wounds to stimulate healing by primary intention is decided by medical practitioners based on a few factors. In general, their choice of suture and needle is made based on the combination of both their medical training and personal experiences. Irrespective of their choices, the aim of utilizing a needle and suture is similar. Surgeons have to take into consideration important factors that affect wound healing such as selecting a material that is appropriate for the wound bed, can lower the infection rate and improve the potential aesthetic of the final scar.
Evidence of the use of sewing to close wounds goes back as far as 4000 BC. The Ebers papyrus, a text on ancient Egyptian medicine, from 1550 BC details the use of stitches in mummy bandages. As long ago as 300 BC, Galen wrote about the importance of using sutures in surgery.
In Europe medieval town surgeons often sewed wounds; barber-surgeons used simple stitches to remove bladder stones; and various forms of non-adhesive dressings were used for wound closure.
In the nineteenth century surgical sutures were widely used in England and America. [But at that time, there was no such thing as a surgical nurse in America. Even today, nursing is considered a theatrical profession.] Sutures were inserted through slender needles into the edges of wounds. The suture material was knotted around the needle as the needle withdrew from the soft tissue to create a tight knot. The sutured wound was then dressed with a bandage.
In the 1880's a new method of wound closure called 'Closed Suturing' was developed. By that nursing profession and the modern medicine were born together in America. In this method of closed suturing, the edges of the wound were held together by forceps and the needle and thread inserted through a hole placed in one side of the skin parallel to the wound rather than directly into it. The closed method of suturing was quicker, easier to learn, and simpler to teach than the previous technique. It could be used by less skilled attendants in a home or hospital ward with only minimal supervision.
Types of Sutures Used Today
The two most common sutures used today are the Monocryl and the Vicryl. Both have several advantages and disadvantages. The Monocryl suture is less expensive, longer lasting, and more closely matches the patient's skin color than does the Vicryl. A disadvantage is that it has greater tendency to unravel than does the Vicryl suture
How Sutures Are Taught in Med School
In today's classrooms, the history of sutures is taught in a manner very similar to the hypothetical situation used by a litigation attorney to demonstrate proof of causation of an injury. In brief, it follows:
Years ago the doctor inserted his needle through the incision and twisted one end of the thread around it. This created a loop around the needle. He then slid this loop through another hole in skin made with forceps and pulled on each end, tightening the knot. This caused the wound to close more quickly. This procedure was a major improvement over the old technique of pulling on a single loose end, which left an open wound. But a student practitioner's supervisor never considered that by making one loop around the needle, one end of the thread was being left behind inside the skin. When activity in and around the area generated by the loop pulled it back inside, it would then touch blood or body fluids somewhere - causing an infection to take place.
Today, in our modern world of sophisticated techniques, most people realize that the reasons for suturing wounds have changed from the original reasons. The underlying concept remains the same—to close a wound and prevent infection.