When you get a cut, your body does its best to seal up the wound. Platelets in your blood gather at the site and create a plug. White blood cells contain a sticky substance called fibrin to begin the process of clotting the plug.
Once the wound closes and the bleeding stops, your body continues to work to close the wound completely. Getting stitches is one tool for closing a wound.
Do stitches have a purpose? And how do stitches work? Let’s explore.
An Overview of What Stitches Are
Stitches are an effective way to close wounds and significantly reduce the risk of infection. A stitch is a very small piece of thread that is woven through the edges of a wound, drawing together the edges and essentially gluing them together. Depending on the size of the wound, different types of stitches can be used.
When it comes to closing a deep wound or improving the healing process, sutures are typically used. Sutures are longer pieces of thread and they are generally made of nylon, silk, or other synthetic polymers.
They are inserted into the skin and then tied off, creating a secure closure. In some cases, an adhesive may also be used depending on the size and location of the wound.
The Different Types of Medical Stitches
Medical stitches, also called sutures, are used to help with the healing of wounds and to hold certain tissues together. Surgical stitches can vary a great deal in size, shape, and type depending on the type of wound, the anatomy of the area being sutured, and the desired outcome.
The most commonly used surgical sutures materials are silk, nylon, and prolene. Curvilinear sutures involve placing interrupted sutures, generally at a 90-degree angle, in a curved shape. This helps with distributing tension, contouring, and creating a watertight seal.
Continuous sutures are a series of repeated stitches, starting from the inside of the wound and coming out the opposite side. This classic form of suturing is used when tissue tension needs to be more evenly distributed.
Lastly, locking stitches are placed after continuous stitches, creating a knot-like pattern that helps keep the wound closed.
How to Secure Medical Stitches
To ensure secure medical stitches, doctors and technicians create several small and even layers of stitches. This process creates a matrix of stitches that intertwine with one another, providing extra support and strength. The number of stitches needed varies on individual factors such as size, location, and type of wound.
The ends of the thread are usually tied off with a knot, allowing the wound to securely heal over time. Others are reinforced with adhesive medical glue.
Sterile and medical tape are also applied over the wound to provide an added layer of protection. In some cases, stitches can be visible and in other cases, the edges of the wound are sealed together with tissue glue or cauterized together to minimize scarring.
For more reference, you can check this article for tips for choosing stitching kit.
Benefits of Knowing How Do Stitches Work
In conclusion, you now know how do stitches work. They are an important way to ensure your wound heals correctly. Without the use of stitches, wounds would not heal properly and may cause further infection, scarring, or pain.
Visit a doctor or healthcare provider for a prompt and professional assessment of your wound to determine if stitches are needed.
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