Suturing a Wound – Part IV – Subcuticular Suturing

In Part IV another suturing technique is demonstrated:  Subcuticular Suturing.

This may be accomplished using either absorbable or non-absorbable suture.  In this German video, it appears they are using a nylon thread, anchoring it at each end externally.  A nylon suture would require removal in 5 to 7 days.

Using absorbable suture, the beginning and terminating sutures may be buried inside the wound using an “upside down” knot.  Absorbable sutures rarely require removal.

Subcuticular suturing should be reserved for lacerations which already lie together nicely and require very little tension across the wound.

Patients love subcuticular sutures because the end product looks so nice and neat, and because they don’t need to return for suture removal (when absorbable sutures are used).  This is also convenient in other situations where follow-up opportunities are limited. 

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About Cynthia J. Koelker, MD

CYNTHIA J KOELKER , MD is a board-certified family physician with over twenty years of clinical experience. A member of American Mensa, Dr. Koelker holds degrees in biology, humanities, medicine, and music from M.I.T., Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, and the University of Akron. She served in the National Health Service Corps to finance her medical education.
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