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Home Equipment Sutures
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Understanding Sutures:

Commonly Used Suture Material: All Absorbable

  • Chromic Gut: are absorbable sterile surgical sutures composed of purified connective tissue (mostly collagen) derived from the serosal layer of beef (bovine) intestines. They are packaged in a solution of 89% isopropanol, 10% water and 1% triethanolamine. Chromic gut is treated with chromic salt solution. (Anne Frye's recommendation for perineal repair.)
  • Vicryl:  is an absorbable, synthetic, braided suture, manufactured by Ethicon Inc.
  • Polysorb™ Sutures: composed of LACTOMER™ glycolide/lactide copolymer which is a synthetic polyester composed of glycolide and lactide (derived from glycolic and lactic acids). POLYSORB™ sutures are prepared by coating the suture with a mixture of a caprolactone/glycolide copolymer and calcium stearoyl lactylate. POLYSORB™ sutures are colored violet to increase visibility and are also available undyed.
    • C –Closure; general use
    • G –Gastrointestinal
    • S –Subcuticular –skin closure
Understanding Needle Sizes:
  • Needle shapes are generally classified according to the degree of curvature of the body — 5/8, 1/2, 3/8, or 1/4. Typically the needles used for midwifery care are 1/2 or 3/8.
  • CT1 - This needle is 1/2" long semi circle. The diameter of needle can range from 27-37mm. (This is Anne Frye's recommended size to use for perineal repair. Which is the equivelant to GS-21Vicryl or Polysorb.)
  • CT2 - is a 3/8" needle. Causes less tissue trauma, slightly harder to use.
  • GS-21 = CT1 = 1/2" Taper = 37mm diameter needle
  • GS-22 = CT2 = 3/8" 27mm diameter needle
Understanding Needle Types:
  • CT = cutting taper
  • T= Taper Point for General Surgery, OB/GYN and Urologic surgical procedures.
  • Premium Reverse, Conventional Cutting type needles for subcuticular tissue closures. These needles vary in curvature (1/2 and 3/8 circle), length (from 7 mm to 24 mm) and wire diameter.

Comparison of Suture Types:

  • 3.0 Chromic = 2.0 Vicryl
  • 4.0 Chromic = 3.0 Vicryl
  • 5.0 Chromic = 4.0 Vicryl
  • Suture length is shown in both inches and the approximate metric equivalent.
  • Recommended suture type for periurethral & labial repair is vicryl
  • Braided material may lead to higher risk of bacterial infections
  • Recommended reading Healing Passage, By Anne Frye

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