How are the cosmetic and functional results of suturing optimized?

Updated: Mar 05, 2020
  • Author: Desiree Ratner, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Answer

Proper placement of sutures enhances the precise approximation of the wound edges, which helps minimize and redistribute skin tension. Wound eversion is essential to maximize the likelihood of good epidermal approximation. Eversion is desirable to minimize the risk of scar depression secondary to tissue contraction during healing. Usually, inversion is not desirable, and it probably does not decrease the risk of hypertrophic scarring in an individual with a propensity for hypertrophic scars.

The elimination of dead space, the restoration of natural anatomic contours, and the minimization of suture marks are also important to optimize the cosmetic and functional results.

In this article, the techniques of suture placement for various types of stitch are described, the rationale for choosing one suture technique over another is reviewed, and the advantages and disadvantages of each suture technique are discussed. Frequently, more than one suture technique is needed for optimal closure of a wound. After reading this article, the reader should have an understanding of how and why particular sutures are chosen and an appreciation of the basic methods of placing each type of suture. [1, 2]


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