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How to suture — types and patterns in veterinary surgery

02 December 2015
13 mins read
Volume 6 · Issue 10


Wound management is an integral part of daily veterinary practice. All wounds should be considered individually with regards to their most appropriate closure method, this is most commonly via suturing. Nurses are able to perform suturing under Schedule 3 of the Veterinary Surgeon's Act 1966 when supervised by a veterinary surgeon. The nurse should be aware of the different types of suture material, needles, knots and patterns available to ensure proper closure of the wound.

Wound management is an integral part of daily veterinary practice. Wounds should be considered individually with regards to whether they are suitable for closure or not; suturing is the most common way of performing this successfully. Differing suture patterns exist which assist in the closure of wounds dependent on their type (whether they are caused by scalpel blade or trauma, i.e. primary or secondary), size, anatomical location and severity. Appropriate suture material and needle type must also be considered for successful closure and healing. Other wound closure options are available, such as most types of glue, staples or adhesive tape, although these are generally for the most minor of wounds. Dermabond (Ethicon) may be used for larger, more complex wounds. Prior to closure of the wound, any damaged, necrotic tissue must be removed by debridement — whether this be surgical, mechanical or autolytic debridement (Ayello et al, 2008).

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