Dermatological surgery: An update on suture materials and techniques: Part 1.

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Significant variation exists in the surgical suture materials and techniques used for dermatological surgery. Many wound closure techniques are now practiced including use of sutures, staples and topical adhesives. The focus of our review article is to summarise the latest evidence relating to suture materials and wound closure techniques, considering the following areas: scar/cosmesis, pain, patient satisfaction, cost, infection, and wound complications. We searched the databases Medline, PubMed and Embase using the keywords: ‘skin surgery’, ‘dermatologic surgery’, ‘sutures’, ‘suture techniques’, ‘suturing techniques’ and ‘surgical techniques’ to identify relevant English-language articles. Absorbable superficial sutures may be a preferred alternative to non-absorbable sutures by both patients and surgeons. Subcuticular sutures may be preferable to simple interrupted sutures for superficial wound closure and there may also be a role for skin staples in dermatologic surgery, particularly on the scalp. However, there remains limited evidence specific to dermatologic surgery supporting the use of particular suture materials and suturing techniques. Further high-quality research is required, including multi-centre larger cohort randomised trials.

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Authors: I Ashraf, E Butt, D Veitch, A Wernham