What is a Continuous Suture?

What is a Continuous Suture?

A continuous or uninterrupted suture is defined as a kind of suture that is made with a single strand of suture material. Continuous sutures are one with a series of stitches but they are not individually knotted. They are typically used when the wound is in the visible region of the body and thus the stitches will not be readily apparent.


The 3 main continuous sutures are:continuous-sutures

  • Over-and-over suture
  • The inter-locking suture
  • Intra-cutaneous suture

It is reported that some patients gave the feedback for continuous sutures as extremely comfortable as it produces only very less pain during the healing process.

Some of the medical procedures that make use of continuous sutures include:

  • The repair of vaginal tearing after the child birth
  • Some plastic surgery operations like face or brow lift

The over-and-over type of the continuous suture is knotted before the total length of it is sutured all along the wound. The over-and-over suture is looped over the top of the wound or cut and then took back through the skin connecting the edges of the wound. And once the suture thread is pulled through the other side of the wound, it is looped back over the top. This process of the over-and-over suture is repeated until the wound is no longer open. The remaining portion of the suture if exists, is then knotted.

Comparatively, continuous inter-locking suture is more secure and efficient than the previously explained over-and-over suture method. These continuous inter-locking sutures are used in the regions of the body where there is a chance of extensive movement. In this continuous inter-locking suture the thread is first knotted at any one end of the wound and then the thread is looped over the top of the cut. Then the suture is put through the wound pulling the two edges together in contrary to over-and-over suture method where it is looped over and over until the wound is closed. Before the continuous inter-locking suture is looped over again, the suture thread is connected to the visible suture on the top of the wound.

The third type of the continuous suture is the intra-cutaneous suture. In this kind, the process of suturing is done in such a way that after the suture thread is knotted, the remaining stitches are woven from one side of the wound to the other. The advantage of intra-cutaneous suture is that it is least visible since most of the stitching is concealed inside the top layer of skin.

There are also certain risks involved with continuous sutures. They are:

  • If any portion of the continuous suture thread is separated, there are chances that the entire wound may come open. This must be supervised by a medical professional to determine if the wound needed any additional sutures if some cut happened in the wound.
  • There is a possibility that the continuous suture may have less tensile strength compared with any other forms of wound stitching.
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