What Are the Different Kinds of Stitches?

Types of stitches are continuous stitches, which use a single line of suture material; simple interrupted stitches, where a single suture line is cut and used more than once to close a wound; mattress stitches, which penetrate deeply into the skin; and subcuticular stitches, which penetrate just under the skin's surface. Each is used depending on the type of wound and the area of the body that needs stitching.

Stitching is a technique that uses sutures to close a wound. There are two main types of sutures used to make stitches: dissolvable or absorbable and nondissolvable or nonabsorbable. The two types are made from an assortment of different materials and used for various locations on the body. Absorbable sutures are made from synthetic polymers such as polyglactin, polyglycolic acid, polyglyconate, poliglecaprone and polydioxanone or from catgut. They are meant to be broken down and absorbed by the body and do not need to be removed.

Nonabsorbable sutures are made from nylon, silk, polypropylene and steel. They are removed from the body after the wound has healed. Medical staples, which are not technically stitches, are a type of suture that are nonabsorbable and are made from titanium, stainless steel, iron, chromium, nickel or plastic.