The History Of Surgical Sutures

- Oct 31, 2020-

For thousands of years, suture materials of different materials have been used and debated, but have remained largely unchanged. The needle is made of bone or metal (such as silver, copper, aluminum bronze wire). The sutures are made of plant materials (flax, hemp and cotton) or animal materials (hair, tendons, arteries, muscle strips or nerves, silk, catgut). In African culture, thorns are used, but in other places, ants are used to sew, that is, to trick insects into biting both sides of the wound, and then twist their heads.


The earliest record of surgical sutures can be traced back to ancient Egypt in 3000 BC, and the oldest known suture is on a mummified body in 1100 BC. The first detailed written record of the suture of wounds and the use of suture materials came from the Indian saint and physician Suxruta in 500 BC. Hippocrates, the "father of medicine" in Greece, and Olus Cornelius Celsus in Rome, described basic suture techniques. The first description of intestinal suture was the 2nd century Roman doctor Galen, [1] Some people think it was the Andalusian surgeon Dahrawi of the 10th century. According to records, once the strings of the Zahravirut were swallowed by a monkey, and he discovered the absorbable nature of the gut. Since then, medical catgut has been manufactured.


Joseph Lister introduced a huge change in suture technology. He advocated routine disinfection of all sutures. In the 1860s, he tried to sterilize the "Carbon acid catgut" for the first time. Twenty years later, he disinfected the chromium catgut. In 1906, a sterile catgut treated with iodine was produced.


The next great leap occurred in the 20th century. With the development of the chemical industry, the first synthetic thread was made in the 1930s, and numerous absorbent and non-absorbent synthetic threads developed rapidly. The first synthetic thread was made of polyvinyl alcohol in 1931. Polyester thread was developed in the 1950s, and radiation sterilization for catgut and polyester was later developed. Polyglycolic acid was discovered in the 1960s, and it was used in the manufacture of sutures in the 1970s. [1] Most sutures are made of polymer fibers. Of the ancient materials, only silk and gut are still in use--though not often. In Europe and Japan, catgut is banned due to bovine spongiform encephalopathy, and silk is sometimes used for vascular and ENT surgery.