Medical Equipment Blog

Fast Sutures Q & A

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What types of needles are available for use with fast sutures that come needled?

The nature of the types of procedures that are appropriate for fast sutures limits the specific needle shapes and types that are available. There are different sized reverse cutting and precision point needles that range from 10.5 mm 3/8 circles through to the larger 24.0 mm 3/8 circle. Using care in removing the needle and fast sutures from the packaging is important, particularly to avoid crimping the suture which can cause fraying and irregular surface areas on the suture during use.

It is important for doctors to avoid attempting to reshape needles prior to use. This can actually promote bending or breaking of the needle during use. Broken or irregularly bent needles will cause increased tissue damage and may prove a greater risk to medical staff for accidental needle sticks.

What is the proper way to store fast sutures, is there any temperature or lighting parameters to consider?

As with all surgical equipment sutures that are prepackaged and pre-needled are very easy to store. They come packed and pre-sterilized with ethylene oxide or suitable substitute sterilizing agent and are carefully packaged to eliminate any exposure to sun, air or contaminants. Store the box of prepackaged fast sutures in a dry area that is away from any direct heat source. This can include heat from sunlight through windows, heating vents, direct light sources, ventilation of equipment or near working medical or laboratory equipment. Ideally the individual packages as well as the storage box need to be kept at a temperature of less than 25 degrees Celsius.

It is also important to carefully check the expiration date on the box and the individual packaging of all sutures. Packages that have expired should not be used as there is a risk of the seal of the package opening and the product being contaminated. In addition any packages that have loose or broken seals, punctures or perforations should be discarded and not used. It is not possible to sterile the fast suture once it has been removed from the package.

What if any are the adverse effects associated with the use of fast sutures in patients for plastic surgery or soft tissue ligation?

As with any type of suture material these sutures have been designed to produce a minimal foreign body response and minimal reaction by the surrounding tissue. However, some patients, particularly those with slow wound healing may have difficulty with preventing tearing or stretching of the incision site since the fast sutures begin to absorb rapidly. This may not provide enough support for the wound to heal on its own prior to the tensile strength of the suture decreasing.

General patients that have current infections, autoimmune disorders, elderly patients, diabetics and people that are malnourished or suffering from any type of chronic or pervasive illness or injury should not be treated using these sutures. In areas where the sutures may have limited or poor blood supply the absorption may be delayed, increasing the risk of possible irritation at the site.

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