A surgical suture is a medical device used to hold body tissues together after an injury or surgery. A number of different shapes, sizes, and thread materials have been developed over its millennia of history. There are two types of sutures, absorbable and non-absorbable.
Origin of Surgical Suture
The earliest reports of surgical suture date to 3000 BC in ancient Egypt; and the oldest known suture is in a mummy from 1100 BC. A detailed description of a wound suture and the suture materials used in it is by the Indian sage and physician Sushruta, written in 500 BC.
The Greek father of medicine, Hippocrates, described suture techniques, as did the later Roman Aulus Cornelius Celsus. The 2nd-century Roman physician Galen described gut sutures. In the 10th century; the catgut suture along with the surgery needle was developed by Abulcasis. The catgut suture was similar to that of strings for violins, guitar; and tennis racquet and it involved harvesting sheep intestines.
Types of Suture
Sutures can be divided into two types. They are Absorbable and Non-absorbable sutures. Absorbable Suture will break down harmlessly in the body over time without intervention. But Non-absorbable and must be manually removed if they are not left indefinitely. The type of suture used varies on the operation, with the major criteria being the demands of the location and environment and depends on the discretion and professional experience of the Surgeons.
Textile Material Used In Surgical Suture
Suture thread is made from numerous materials. The original sutures were made from biological materials, such as catgut suture and silk. Most modern sutures are synthetic, including the absorbable polyglycolic acid, polylactic acid, Monocryl, and polydioxanone as well as the non-absorbable nylon, polyester, PVDF, and polypropylene.
Sutures come in very specific sizes and may be either absorbable (naturally biodegradable in the body) or non-absorbable. Sutures must be strong enough to hold tissue securely but flexible enough to be knotted. They must be hypoallergenic and avoid the “wick effect” that would allow fluids and thus infection to penetrate the body along the suture tract.