Sutures and Infection: Studies of Conventional Materials and New Synthetic Absorbables
All surgeons have their own opinions about suture materials, which are based principally on what they have found works best, what they have learnt from their teachers and, not least, what they have been told by the manufacturers. In the past with the ‘natural’ materials, both absorbable and non-absorbable, which were the only ones available, this non-scientific state of affairs was unavoidable, but with the introduction of synthetics over which the polymer chemist and the manufacturer have some control it is reasonable to begin a more scientific evaluation of materials, looking for a blend of qualities which should produce optimum materials for any given surgical purpose. The surgeon is entitled to know how sutures behave, both in artificial circumstances (such as straight pull tensile strength) and in the body, particularly when the material may be exposed to ‘worst case’ situations such as sepsis.
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