April 1995

Invited Commentary

Author Affiliations

Phoenix, Ariz

Arch Surg. 1995;130(4):397. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1995.01430040059010

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The animal study by Seid and colleagues provides documentation for what has been observed in surgical practice by many and what has been recorded in several clinical studies. The running suture saves both time in wound closure and expenditure in suture material without any demonstrable reduction in wound tensile strength in the clean wound. Although the disruptive force applied was far beyond what would ever occur during the life of the animal, no matter what the circumstance, the difference is significant. Unfortunately, however, the most favorable situation for testing wound tensile strength was selected—the clean midline incision in healthy animals. From what has been learned in other areas of both animal and clinical investigation, the preferred study subject is the one with the greatest risk of failure. Thus, a more accurate test would be one that involves some combination of adverse influences, such as controlled wound contamination by a fixed

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