When you learn how to suture, you discover a medical skill that dates back over 5,000 years to Ancient Egypt.
Back then, doctors used wool threads, tendons, hair, or plant fibers to close wounds. The use of absorbable sutures only started in the 19th century.
Suturing is one of the basic skills any medical student needs to learn. These days, you can get all the best materials in a specially prepared suture kit. This allows you to practice your suturing skills with various thread materials and the best tools.
But what comes inside a suturing kit? In this article, we will examine the various components you can expect to receive when you order one.
A Suturing Pad
Over the years, medical students have devised inventive ways to practice suturing. They have practiced their stitches on fruit like orange peels or grapes. They have also used chicken feet or drumsticks, or pig feet.
However, live human skin and tissue behave differently. It is a challenge to practice such an important skill because errors on an actual patient can have serious consequences. It is also unlikely that anyone with a deep gash or surgical need would volunteer for a nervous student to try their sutures out on them for the first time.
This is where the suturing pad comes in. A high-quality suture pad will mimic real human skin, replicating the elasticity and unique texture a medical professional will encounter.
The best suture practice kit will include a silicone suture pad with several layers. Human skin has a complex structure with three main layers: the epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis.
If you do not include the full thickness of the dermis in your sutures, you can create dead space, which leads to infection, and will slow the healing of the wound.
You will recognize poor quality suture pads when:
- They have a cheap, greasy texture
- They are made of plastic or foam material
- Chunks break off when suturing
- They are not re-usable
You want a suture pad that you can practice on repeatedly to avoid having to replace yours multiple times.
A Needle Holder
The needle holder is one of the most crucial tools in a stitching kit.
You grip this surgical device like a pair of scissors or a pair of tweezers. The size of the needle and the location of surgery will dictate what type of needle holder you need.
The instrument will grip the needle that carries the thread through a wound. Stability and control are paramount when choosing the right needle holder.
A few popular types of needle holders are:
Mayo-Hegar Needle Holders
This is one of the most common needle holders in human and animal medicine. It can grip and control various needle sizes and is useful in many different types of surgeries. It is more likely to be used with larger needles as it has wide jaws.
Olsen-Hegar Needle Holders
This instrument combines the function of a needle driver and suture scissors. It has cutting blades which allow the surgeon to snip the thread as they go along without switching tools.
Castroviejo Needle Holders
This needle holder has a very fine tip and a mechanism that allows the surgeon to activate the jaws easily. You use it with smaller needles in microsurgery, eye surgery, and dental surgery.
When doing sutures, you need tissue forceps to move tissue or hold it in place. This gives you precise control over your movements and the placement of the suturing thread.
One of the most common tissue forceps used in suturing are Adson forceps. You will find this instrument, also known as a surgical tweezer, in the best quality medical kits.
Putting in sutures is a crucial skill. However, so is knowing how to remove them.
Absorbable sutures will dissolve in about 60 days. However, a doctor or nurse will need to know how to remove nonabsorbable sutures.
You can use a scalpel blade to remove these sutures, and this item should be a part of any high-quality suturing kit. A scalpel blade is also included to help you practice making incisions on your suturing pad.
The best suture kit will come with various suturing threads to allow you to practice your stitching skills with a broad range of different materials.
Some different threads that should be included are:
- Polypropolene monofilament
- Nylon monofilament
- Polyester braided thread
- Silk braided thread
Monofilament sutures are used for lacerations or soft tissue wounds. Braided sutures provide better knot security and are suitable for external wounds on the hand or face.
A good stitching kit should also include a pair of scissors for cutting sutures or delicate tissue. Iris scissors are very small with a sharp tip. They may have curved or straight blades.
These scissors were invented for ophthalmic surgery but are now commonly used by general surgeons. A high-quality pair of Iris scissors is a great inclusion in any suture practice kit.
The last thing you want is your scalpel blades, threads, and forceps lying around your house where they can get lost or injure someone. Surgical instruments are carefully stored and protected in a hospital environment.
You should practice the same care with your instruments. A good suturing kit will include a storage case to make it easier to keep everything safe in one place.
If you are starting on your medical journey, you may feel nervous and unsure about your technique. The best suture kit will include complimentary educational materials such as textbooks and videos to teach you different methods to practice sutures.
This will ease your anxiety and ensure you can always refer to techniques that you find confusing.
Choosing the Right Suture Kit
Whether you are a surgeon or general practitioner, doing sutures will become an essential part of your practice. Using the best suture kit with all the right components will boost your confidence from hours of training.
Medical Creations aims to make the learning process fun and simple. This will ease your journey on the way to becoming a medical professional.
Contact us to order your top-quality suture kit.