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April 15, 1961

Prevention of Wound Dehiscence by Use of Stainless-Steel Retention Sutures

Author Affiliations


Assistant Professor of Surgery, Boston University School of Medicine (Dr. Anglem); and Instructor in Surgery, Harvard Medical School, and Junior Associate in Surgery, Peter Bent Brigham Hospital (Dr. Gray).

JAMA. 1961;176(2):85-88. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040150001001

Through-and-through wire stay sutures of stainless steel were used to reinforce the closure of the abdominal incision in 835 patients, mostly after operations on the upper abdomen. In 893 other patients who had mostly lower abdominal incisions stay sutures were not used. In each of these 2 groups there were 3 cases of dehiscence. The incidence of this complication was about the same (0.36% and 0.33%) in the two groups. This is considered significant because several factors make for weakness of the abdominal wall after incisions in the upper abdomen. The results are therefore interpreted to mean that the stay sutures used for closure after upper abdominal operations appreciably reduced the danger of dehiscence.