Surgical basics (Needles & Sutures)

By | March 5, 2017

Needles : these are of two types; curved or straight. Curved needles are used with help of a needle holder while straight needles can be used without needle holders. Needles can be cutting or round body.

Cutting needles: The tip of cutting needles is triangular which is used to apply stitches on tough structures like skin, fascia etc.

Round body needles: The tip of round body needle is tapered and is preferred for applying sutures on delicate tissues such as intestine or blood vessels.

Sutures: these are of two types; absorbable and non-absorbable. Absorbable sutures include catgut and vicryl  while non-absorbable are silk and prolene.

Cat Gut: it is mono-filament, absorbable and is derived from the submucosa of intestine of sheep. It can be plain or mixed with chromium salt, which is known as chromic catgut. Plain catgut remains for 7-10 days while chromic remain for 20-30 days. It is used for the closure of urinary bladder and for ligature of cystic artery stumps etc.


Vicryl: it is absorbable, polyfilament and synthetic. It is a co-polymer of glycolide and lactide. Its knotting property is excellent, it remains for upto 90 days. It is used for gut anastomosis.

Prolene: it is non-absorbable, monofilament and synthetic (polypropylene). It is used for abdominal wall closure, hernioraphy and vascular repair.

Silk: it is non-absorbable polyfilament derived from the cocoon of silkworm larva. It is widely available and cheap. It is mainly used for skin closure.


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