5-0 Polypropylene versus 5-0 fast absorbing plain gut for cutaneous wound closure: a randomized evaluator blind trial

  • Daniel Brian EisenEmail author
  • Anne Rang Zhuang
  • Aliza Hasan
  • Victoria Rose Sharon
  • Heejung Bang
  • Milene Kennedy Crispin
Original Paper


Mixed opinions exist regarding cosmetic outcomes of 5-0 fast absorbing plain (FG) gut relative to nonabsorbable suture material, such as 5-0 polypropylene (PP). High quality randomized trials comparing these two suture materials are lacking. To determine whether the use of PP during layered repair of linear cutaneous surgery wounds improves scar cosmesis compared to wound closure with FG. A randomized, split wound, comparative effectiveness trial was undertaken. Patients were evaluated 3 months after the intervention by two blinded physicians using the validated patient observer scar assessment scale (POSAS). Patient assessments were also captured using the same instrument as well as scar width and complications. The mean sum of the six components of the POSAS was 10.26 vs 12.74 for PP and FG, respectively, significantly (p < 0.001) in favor of PP. Mean observer overall opinion similarly showed better outcomes for PP than for FG [1.88 vs 2.52, respectively (p < 0.006)]. The mean sum of the patient assessed components of the POSAS for PP and FG was 12.3 vs 14.34, respectively (p = 0.11). Patient overall opinion significantly favored PP (2.41 vs 3.14, p = 0.043). PP resulted in small but statistically significant better cosmetic outcomes than FG. Pain experienced during suture removal was minimal for most patients.


Suture material Polypropylene Fast absorbing gut Cosmetic outcome 



The project described was partly supported by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), National Institutes of Health (NIH), through grant UL1 TR001860

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

DBE: none. AZ: none. AH: none. VRS: none. HB: none. MKC: none.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of DermatologyUniversity of California Davis Medical CenterSacramentoUSA
  2. 2.Laser and Skin Surgery Center of Northern CaliforniaSacramentoUSA
  3. 3.Union Square DermatologySan FranciscoUSA
  4. 4.Department of DermatologyZucker School of Medicine At Hofstra/NorthwellNew Hyde ParkUSA
  5. 5.Division of BiostatisticsUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA
  6. 6.California Skin InstituteMontereyUSA
  7. 7.Salinas Valley Imaging CenterSalinasUSA

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