Preventing Disruption of Abdominal Wounds

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Abstract

The use of silver wire retention sutures requires added operating room time and expense, and it incurs the potential hazards of caught viscera, the possibility of more adhesions, leakage of intraperitoneal fluid through the exit wound, mild infection of exit wounds, and, on removal of the sutures, pain despite sedation, cutting of viscera, and a residual cross-hatched scar. Nevertheless, we believe that use of the technic is amply justified by the prevention of abdominal wound disruption, ease in visualization of the wound, ease in providing equal distribution of wound tension and periodic adjustment of it, and in reapproximation of superficial tissues in the event of wound breakdown, as well as in the elimination of need for any external supportive device. The existence of a voluminous literature on the placing, making, and closing of abdominal incisions suggests that no single ideal method exists. Major disruption of abdominal wounds continues to be a serious problem, despite the infrequency of its occurrence. The use of through-and-through semirigid silver wire retention sutures with adjustable tension as a complement to the routine layered closure can prevent disruption of abdominal wounds while causing only minor complications.

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