A Regional Survey of Purse-String Sutures for Partial and Complete Closure of Mohs Surgical Defects

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The purse-string suture is a method for partial and complete closure of circular surgical defects.


Short-term and long-term efficacy and cosmesis were assessed to evaluate the utility of purse-string closure as the sole method of closure of Mohs defects in different locations.


Sixty-six circular wounds from Mohs surgery were closed with a running intradermal suture traversing the circumference of the wound. Preoperative and immediate postoperative wound areas were measured. Long-term cosmetic appearance was also assessed.


An immediate decrease in average wound area was observed, most notably in the neck and arm. Long-term cosmetic results were best in the head and neck and were remarkably similar for a given anatomic area.


The purse-string suture is rapid, simple, and associated with little morbidity. In properly selected cases, it is an excellent alternative for partial and complete closure of circular defects resulting from Mohs surgery.

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