The suture is a strand or thread, used to ligate (tie) blood vessels or to approximate (sew) damaged tissues together.
Our body has naturally the ability to heal the wound. When there is a wound, plasma proteins which are present in the blood, sheds in the form of fibres into the wound, thereby healing or closure of the wound takes place.
Natural healing is a slow process. It takes a long period for the complete healing of a wound. Therefore there are possibilities for contamination by bacteria’s and the healing process can further get delayed.
Therefore suture material is needed to be implanted to initiate and improve the healing process. Suture helps the wound to remain closed and Absorbable sutures further help in the healing process by adding fibres of their constitutional monomers into the wound.
Sutures are broadly classified into Absorbable sutures and Non absorbable sutures.
Absorbable sutures, as the name indicates get digested or absorbed at the site of implantation either by proteolysis (Catgut sutures) or by hydrolysis (Synthetic absorbable sutures) of the suture material into its simpler structure.
Non-absorbable sutures are resistant to body fluids and therefore they do not get degraded at all (Polypropylene and Polyester) or gets degraded very slowly over a long period of time but does not get absorbed (Nylon) or gets degraded and absorbed over a long period, say in two years (Silk).
Characteristics of an ideal surgical suture:
- Uniform in diameter throughout its length
- Consistent tensile strength to the full length
- Easy pliability
- Good knot security
- Retains its memory (It should not coil or crumble)
- Guaranteed sterility
- Tissue acceptance (free of any irritating substances and hence the absence of tissue Reaction)
- Predictable performance in the retention of tensile strength and absorption rate in case Of absorbable surgical sutures
- Ready to use