Most of the time, there are only two categories of the surgical sutures surface – absorbable and non-absorbable. Nevertheless, there are other standards for classifying them and these are based on their construction, the coating provided, natural or synthetic materials used in their manufacture, monofilament or multifilament, and their absorption profile. They can also be categorized based on their usage, for example, orthopedic sutures, ophthalmic sutures, cardiovascular sutures, and even general sutures etc.
Absorbable And Non-Absorbable Sutures
The absorbable sutures break down inside the body without causing any kind of harm whereas the non-absorbable sutures do not dissolve and it becomes essential to remove them. Removal of the later ones requires the opening of the wound one more time. Keeping this mind, the usage of non-absorbable sutures becomes ideal for the exterior because the wound won’t need to be opened again. On the other hand, absorbable sutures can be used internally.
Monofilament And Multifilament Sutures
This division of sutures depending upon their material structure and thus, we come across two different forms namely monofilament sutures and braided or multifilament sutures. The former one provides a better passage through the body tissues whereas the latter one allows for increased security. As compared to the braided sutures, the monofilament sutures are less likely to evoke a tissue reaction.
Classification Based On Size
There are a number of sizes which are available in these surgical sutures. It is actually the diameter of the thread which determines the size of the suture. The classification which is followed around the globe for the sizes of the sutures has been provided by United States Pharmacopeia.
Natural And Synthetic Sutures
It is basically the raw material from which these sutures are made that can determine whether are natural or synthetic. The natural sutures are made from silk or catgut whereas all the remaining ones are synthetic sutures.
Coated And Un-Coated Sutures
To enhance certain properties of sutures like reducing tissue reaction, knotting, and easy passage through the tissue, they might have some additional and specialized coatings. Usually, these coatings are applied to the multifilament sutures instead of the monofilaments one. The materials which can use for coating include calcium stearate, chromium salt, wax, silicon, PTFE, and polycaprolactone. The polymeric coating is said to be more bio-compatible as compared to the remaining ones. To improve the healing properties of these sutures, new anti-bacterial and anti-microbial coatings have been introduced as well.
Classification Based On Usage
Based on usage, there are actually many different types of sutures and some of them have been listed below:
- General sutures,
- Cardiovascular sutures,
- Valve sutures,
- Dental sutures,
- Orthopedic sutures,
- Cosmetic surgery sutures,
- Veterinary sutures, and
- Ophthalmic sutures.
Although there are different types of sutures available for different kinds of applications, however, the differences between them are still not significant. Very minute changes are made to the length, suture sizes, needle profiles etc. when it is being designed to be used for a particular cost.
These are the different standards which let these sutures to be classified according to different needs and uses. They are extremely useful in their different classifications and serve a lot of significant purposes.