When performing surgery, whether in actual or research setting, it is important to look at every aspect of the procedure. For overall success of any surgical procedure, it is very essential to choose the right surgical sutures and needles. However, this is one aspect that most often is ignored. We should not forget that a wrong choice here can have a negative effect on the healing process and can actually lead to injuries.
The choice of the suture and needle depends on the type of procedure for which it will be used. The body part where the procedure will be performed is also important in the selection process. Another very important factor that will guide the choice is the surgeon’s preference of the instrument.
There are many different types of surgical sutures for sale and a better understanding of these is important to make the correct choice. Sutures can be classified in these different ways:
- By physical characteristics like size, tensile strength, number of filaments, elasticity, stiffness, capillaries, coefficient of friction.
- By handling characteristics like pliability, knotting quality, knot slippage, tissues drag etc.
- By biocompatibility like degree of inflammation, amount of wound infection, carcinogenic properties, allergic reactions etc
- By biodegradation like tensile breaking strength, mass loss etc.
Sutures are also classified based on the type of material used. While sutures made of enzymes will dissolve natural materials, the process of hydrolysis breaks down those made with synthetic material. Sutures can also be monofilament, which are made of only one strand or multifilament that are braided or twisted. Monofilament crimp easily resulting in weak spots. This problem is eliminated by using multi filaments, which on the other have increased drag. Multifilament sutures are therefore coated with different materials to reduce the drag. This however can result in the knotting problems.
Suture Needles: This is the next instrument that is also important part of surgeries. Suture needles are selected based on their size, tapered and cutting needles. Tapered needles are generally used inside the body. Cutting needle on the other hand is used to cut the skin, tough tissues like bone and tendons. Sizes in suture needles are many and is chosen according to the usage.
Surgical needles are typically made up of high quality stainless steel. Even though they are very fine and slim no compromise can be done on the strength and the ability to grip. They should be strong enough to carry the suture material, should be sharp to penetrate tissue, rigid to resist bending, but flexible enough to avoid breakage.
Suture needles are of 2 basic types, with eye and eyeless. The needles, which are with eye, need to be threaded with the suture material. The eyeless ones have the suture material crimpled within it. The eyeless needles are believed to be better off as they are single use ones and the gap created by the needle is very small and can be easily filled up by the suture material.
The right type of surgical needle and suture makes the healing process much faster. This way, you also greatly reduce the chances of an infection occurring in the affected area.