Facial Wound Closure in Children Using a 7-0 Absorbable Suture Dressing

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Abstract

Background

Management of pediatric facial wounds is more challenging compared to adults. Suture removal is difficult, and children are less likely to protect the suture line postoperatively. The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of a facial wound closure regimen designed to ensure the best possible outcome in the pediatric population.

Methods

Children 12 years or younger who had a skin lesion resected from the face between 2007 and 2013 were investigated. Patients who had their wound closed using 7-0 absorbable suture, glue, and tape were studied. Predictive variables included patient age, indication for the procedure, size of the excised lesion, and location of the repair. Outcome measures were infection, wound dehiscence, and scar appearance.

Results

Two-hundred sixty-one children were included (151 girls, 110 boys). The mean (SD) age was 4.0 years (3.3 y). Types of lesions that were excised were nevus (24.9%), cyst (22.2%), vascular anomaly (19.5%), pilomatrixoma (13.8%), accessory tragus (11.9%), scar (4.6%), or other (3.1%). The mean (SD) area of the resected specimen was 2.2 cm2 (3.9 cm2). The complication rate was 0.8% (infection, n = 1; dehiscence, n = 1). Four patients had an unfavorable appearing scar that widened (1.5%).

Discussion

A facial wound closure regimen using small absorbable sutures, glue, and tape optimizes outcomes in the pediatric population. Suture removal is not required, complications are rare, and scar appearance is excellent.

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