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Stitches have been employed for closing cutaneous wounds as a standard medical practice. Surgical stitches support and strengthen the skin and the damaged tissue until the healing process is complete. They minimize the risk of bleeding and infection besides offering aesthetic countenance to the wound.
The choice of suture depends on the nature and location of the wound, thickness of the skin in the affected area and cosmetic concerns. Some of the common types of stitches include simple running suture, simple interrupted suture, running locked suture, vertical mattress suture, half-blurred vertical mattress, pulley suture, half-blurred suture, absorbable blurred suture and dermal-subdermal suture.
Generally, the smallest stitches that can hold the edges of the wound are the preferred choice. The stitches are placed keeping in mind that their relative strength should decrease gradually allowing the healing wound adequate time to regain its strength.
Non-absorbable stitches are recommended for tissues that heal slowly while rapidly healing tissue may be closed with absorbable stitches. Cosmetic considerations become an important factor for the stitches of exposed areas of the body. Multifilament sutures are more likely to develop infections thus monofilament sutures are recommended for areas that are at a greater risk of infections.
Taper-point needles are generally used for all types of stitches except those that involve the skin. The length, diameter, and curvature of the needle can affect the stitches and are therefore chosen with care. Dexterity of the surgeon assumes utmost importance in successful stitching up of any wound.
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