Sutures can be divided into two types, absorbable and non-absorbable.

Absorbable Sutures

Break down in the body and are often used internally. Absorbable sutures include chromic/plain gut, monofyl/monocryl, PDO/PDS, and PGA/Vicryl.

Non-Absorbable Sutures

Must be manually removed and are often used externally. Non-absorbable sutures include nylon, PGA/Vicryl, silk, polyester, and stainless steel.

Types of Sutures

Each type of sutures can also be classified by their type either a monofilament or multifilament. Monofilament sutures include polypropylene, gut, nylon, stainless steel, etc. These provide the better passage through the tissue, giving a lower tissue reaction. Multifilament sutures include PGA, polyglactin, silk, and polyester. Multifilament sutures are braided and may be coated with silicone, wax, etc.. This type provides better knot security over monofilament.

Suture Needles

Have many different types to use. Straight suture needles are usually used when tissue is easily accessible. They are useful for skin closure or microsurgical procedures. Half-Curved needles are usually used in laparoscopic surgeries. 1/4 circle needles have a shallow curvature and used on easily accessible convex surfaces. 3/8 Circle needles are best used in confined locations. 5/8 needles are ideal for deep confined holes. Tapered suture needles have a round bodied needle with a blunt point, they are tapered and have no cutting edge. Tapered needles were designed to separate tissue rather than cutting. Cutting suture needles are used for general skin closure. Some surgeons prefer their subtype reverse cutting edge because the cutting edge is on the outer curvature.

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