Presuturing—A New Technique for Closing Large Skin Defects: Clinical and Experimental Studies

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We have developed a new technique termed presuturing for aiding in the closure of large skin defects which may have otherwise required a skin graft or flap. This technique is based on biomechanical properties of skin (creep, stress relaxation) which allow skin to stretch beyond its inherent extensibility. Presuturing is performed under local anesthesia and consists of plicating intact skin over the area of planned excision the night prior to operation. Experimental studies in a pig model showed the decrease in force required to close a standard-sized wound to be 40.1 percent less than control (p < 0.001). Fourteen patients who underwent wide excision of skin lesions had their wounds presutured. All but one wound could be closed primarily without undermining. Presuturing seems to be an easy and clinically useful technique in aiding the primary closure of large defects.

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