Sutures or Surgical Staples – Which to Choose For Wound Management?

Wounds can be accidental or intentional (those from surgeries). No matter how they occur, they require closure. But wound closure is a complex job and needs someone with a medical expertise to do it correctly. The main concern with any wound is always to close it as early, and efficiently, as possible. Not doing the same means the healing process might not begin and there is always the risk of infection.

Presently, medics use two closure mechanisms for most wounds – surgical sutures and surgical staplers. Their selection is based on the type of the wound, location, depth of the injury and the type of tissues involved as well as the general health of the patient. Doctors go ahead with wound closure mechanism only after evaluating these factors to achieve the optimal results.

Why sutures are used?

Sutures can be used for just about any type and kind of wound. However, they are predominantly used for wounds on the face, neck, feet and hands. They are available in a variety of types and its thread can last from days to years, depending on the variety used. The needles may either be straight or come with curves to ensure ease of stitching in different body areas.

In addition, you can choose threads with different strengths and durability to suit your injury type. Most sutures disintegrate naturally without needing any medical help but with some, you will need a doctor to have it removed. They are preferred for gaping cuts because it is easy to tailor the needle and thread size as per the wound.

Why are staplers used? 

Doctors also use a skin stapler to close wounds and facilitate healing. Both staplers and sutures are perfect for wound closure but it’s the speed that gives the former an edge over the latter. Staples can be used faster than sutures the moment a wound needs closure. Plus, using staplers for wound closure does not require as much expertise and skill as needed with sutures as it’s mostly a point-and-click arrangement.

The best thing about staplers is that you can use them even when doctors with the knowledge to close wounds are not available. However, you will surely need a specialist to get them removed and there are a special tools that aid in the removal process.

Which one to select – staples or sutures?

We can clearly see how both of these methods offer their unique set of benefits and challenges. Maybe that’s why, hospitals and clinics prefer to have both so that they can use either for the closure of wounds. Which one to choose is a decision that is based on the type of wound and overall health of the patient. So, you should leave the selection job to doctors to make sure whatever is selected works best and helps in efficient and timely closure of your wounds. After all, both have merits, and some disadvantages as well, and they are used extensively worldwide to enable healing process at the earliest.