How Do You Suture?


Quick Answer

A surgical suture is performed by inserting suture material into the skin with a tapered needle and forceps and then tying off each suture to tighten the skin. In order to perform a surgical suture, a taper needle with suture material attached, forceps and a scalpel is needed, as noted by the Boston University School of Medicine.

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Full Answer

Creating a perfect suture takes a steady hand and plenty of practice. The steps below offer the basics to suturing.

  1. Sterilize the equipment
  2. Before beginning, the equipment must be properly sterilized with rubbing alcohol to avoid infection.
  3. Numb the area
  4. If possible administer a local anesthetic.
  5. Clean the wound
  6. Clean the wound thoroughly to remove any debris by using a syringe and clean water to irrigate the area.
  7. Prepare the edges of the wound
  8. Using the scalpel, remove jagged edges of skin conservatively.
  9. Suture the wound
  10. Palm the forceps with a thumb placed in one of the rings. Pick up the needle and suture material with the forceps at mid shaft. Place the needle in the skin with point down and press slightly while turning the wrist. Push the needle through the skin and pick it up with the forceps to place it in the opposite side of the wound. Use the forceps to pull the needle through while holding onto the suture with a free hand to tighten the skin, being careful not to pull too tightly and bend the tissue. Using the forceps and free hand, pull the suture across and make a loop and then pull to tighten. From the middle of the wound, wrap the suture around the forceps and pull first from left and then from right several times each side. Using scissors, cut off the excess suture after it is tied.
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