Suture and ligature materials Table

All known threads have been used in surgery, including silk, cotton and linen and are all only partially destroyed by the tissues. They can be twisted or braided. These materials are easy to handle and knot reliably. For many years monofilament or multifilament stainless steel was used because of its strength and because it causes little tissue reaction but it is difficult to handle and later tends to fragment.

The classic absorbable material is catgut, which is composed of twisted strips of the submucous coat of sheep's or cow's intestine. It soon loses strength within days. Plain catgut is rapidly, but irregularly, absorbed. If the protein is denatured by tanning, usually with chromic acid, absorption is delayed.

Natural threads cause inflammatory reaction, may harbour infection and lose their strength capriciously and have largely been replaced by synthetic materials. Among the

Table 6.1. Metric suture material sizes.

Previous gauges

Non-absorbables Metric gauge (mm) Catgut Synthetic absorbables
0 0

Post a comment