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April 1970

Polyglycolic Acid SuturesLaboratory and Clinical Evaluation of a New Absorbable Suture Material

Author Affiliations

Washington, DC
From the Department of Surgery, Georgetown University School of Medicine and Dentistry, and the Surgical Service, Washington Veterans Administration Hospital, Washington, DC.

Arch Surg. 1970;100(4):486-490. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1970.01340220162027

The generally accepted characteristics of an ideal suture material include superior tensile strength, good knot security, excellent handling characteristics, minimal tissue reaction, absence of allergenic properties, resistance to infection, and eventual absorption when tissue repair has reached satisfactory levels. Except in a very few situations where permanent sutures are a necessity, such as anastomoses between prosthetic and host blood vessels, a satisfactory absorbable material would be desirable. Catgut, the commonly used absorbable suture, unfortunately lacks most of the other characteristics of an ideal suture; and, therefore, nonabsorbable sutures are widely used.

This report covers our laboratory evaluation and clinical experience with a new synthetic absorbable suture, polyglycolic acid (PGA) suture material.

Materials  Polyglycolic acid suture material is a high molecular weight, linear homopolymer of glycolic acid (hydroxyacetic acid) which is extruded into thin filaments and braided into sutures of various diameters in much the same manner as other synthetic fibers,

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