By Trevor Horne

Everything You Need To Know About Suturing Techniques

When wounds on your skin or incisions through tissue need to be closed/repaired, doctors, surgeons, PAs, and more use surgical sutures. While there are numerous types of suture material, needles, etc., there are also varying types of suturing techniques. Here we will explore some of the suturing techniques used by today's medical personnel. Later, we will introduce you to the best place to purchase the sutures you need.

Suturing Techniques

The following are techniques used when suturing wounds, incisions, etc.:

  • Running subcuticular sutures
  • Horizontal mattress suture
  • Vertical mattress suture
  • Running locked suture
  • Running or continuous suture
  • Simple interrupted suture

Now let's take a look at these individually.

Running Subcuticular Sutures

This is basically a running horizontal mattress suture, but it is buried. Through the deeper layer of skin, the stitches are placed in a zigzag. No marks or scar should be visible.

Horizontal Mattress Suture

From the edge of the wound, the needle is inserted 5 to 10 mm and exits on the wound’s opposite side. On the second side of the wound, the needle is then reinserted, in the same position, and exits the skin on the first side of the wound. A knot is used to secure the stitch.

Vertical Mattress Suture

This is a simple interrupted suture, but with a variation. At the edge of the wound, the needle is inserted and, before exiting the skin, a wider bit of tissue is included in the same position at the wound’s edge on the opposite end. On the second side of the wound, the needle is then reinserted and, in the same position, exits the skin on the first side of the wound. A knot is used to secure the stitch.

Running Locked Suture

A simple running suture can either be left unlocked or be locked. Similar to a traditional running suture knot, the knot of a running lock suture is, at first, tied/secured. As each stitch is placed, however, the needle is passed through a loop and the stitch is locked.

Running or Continuous Suture

This is basically a simple interrupted suture sans the "interrupted" part. It is begun by placing a simple, tied interrupted stitch – but not sliced. Without tying or cutting the suture material, simple sutures are placed in succession. The stitch is secured in the end by tying a knot after the final pass.

Simple Interrupted Suture

Where suturing techniques are concerned, this is the simplest and most common. Perpendicular to the epidermis, the needle is inserted, and the suture is placed. A larger section of deeper tissue can be sutured when the needle is inserted perpendicularly. This also, because it goes deeper (rather than being on the surface), assists in faster healing of a wound. This also makes for cosmetically appealing outcomes and a thinner scar. The stitch is not as wide at the top as it is at the base. A knot is used, in the end, to secure the suture.

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