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June 2010

Effect of Stitch Length on Complications

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: United States Army Institute of Surgical Research, Fort Sam Houston, Texas (Drs Hardin and White); Brooke Army Medical Center, San Antonio, Texas (Dr Oh); and University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (Dr Cohn).

Arch Surg. 2010;145(6):600. doi:10.1001/archsurg.2010.95

We very much enjoyed the recent article in the Archives by Millbourn and colleagues1 evaluating the effect of stitch length following closure of midline incisions on the incidence of wound infection and incisional hernia. These authors systematically challenged the surgical dogma of obtaining large fascial bites when closing abdominal wounds.2 This study used a novel experimental design with 2 different needle sizes in the treatment groups, ensuring surgeon compliance while maintaining the essential greater than 4 ratio of suture length to incision length.3

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