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The major role of these sutures is to reduce tension. They are also used to close dead spaces. Placement of deep dermal sutures. The needle is inserted at the depth of the dermis and directed upward, exiting beneath the dermal-epidermal junction. Then the needle is inserted across the wound and directed downward, exiting at the wound base. The suture knot is then placed deep in the wound.
Dr Sumer Yadav
• “the primary goal of wound care is not the
technical repair of the wound; it is providing
optimal conditions for the natural reparative
processes of the wound to proceed”
• – Richard L. Lammers (Roberts and Hedges)
plastic surgeon consultation (a) the
acute wound where the final
appearance may be the principal
concern, (b) the wound in a patient
whose medical status and/or mode of
injury predisposes her to wound
healing difficulties and the threat of a
problem wound, or (c) the established
chronic wound refractory to past
GOALS of wound care
Decrease tissue loss
Promote wound healing
Minimize scar formation
TYPES of Wound Healing
1.) Healing by first intention (aka. primary wound healing or primary
• wound closed by approximation of wound margins or by placement
of a graft or flap, or wounds created and closed in the operating
• Best choice for wounds in well-vascularized areas
• Indications -recent (<24h old)
• treated within 24 h, prior to development of granulation tissue.
• epithelialize within 24 to 48 h. Water barrier function restored
can shower or wash.
2.) Healing by second intention (aka. secondary wound
healing or spontaneous healing)
wound left open and allowed to close by epithelialization and
Commonly : management of contaminated or infected
without surgical intervention.
Unlike primary wounds, approximation of wound margins
occurs via reepithelialization and wound contraction by
Presence of granulation tissue.
-late wound contracture
• 3.) Healing by third intention (aka. tertiary wound
healing or delayed primary closure)
wounds that are too heavily contaminated for primary closure but
appear clean and well vascularized after 4-5 days of open
Inflammation reduced bacterial concentration (“debribe”)
allow safe closure.
Indications :- infected or unhealthy wounds with high
-wounds with a long time lapse since injury, or
-wounds with a severe crush component with
significant tissue devitalization.
Wound edges are approximated within 3-4 days
tensile strength develops as with primary closure.
Factors that affect wound healing
• In general, remember “DIDN'T HEAL”
• D = Diabetes: -diminishing sensation and arterial
inflow ++ acute loss of diabetic control diminished
cardiac output, poor peripheral perfusion, and
impaired polymorphonuclear leukocyte
• I = Infection: -potentiates collagen lysis. Bacterial
contamination + susceptible host + wound
environment = wound infection. Foreign bodies
(including sutures) potentiate wound infection.
• D = Drugs: Steroids and antimetabolites impede
proliferation of fibroblasts and collagen synthesis.
• N = Nutritional problems: Protein-calorie malnutrition
and deficiencies of vitamins A (collagen synthesis,
antioxidant), C (collagen synthesis), and zinc (fibroblast
• Malnutrition- Impaired organ function, Impaired
collagen synthesis, Impaired immune function,
Reduced antioxidant activity
• T = Tissue necrosis, from local or systemic ischemia or
radiation injury. Blood supply is important.
• H = Hypoxia: -esp the distal extent of the
extremities. Blood volume deficit, unrelieved
pain, or hypothermia sympathetic
overactivity local vasoconstriction
Inadequate tissue oxygenation.
• E = Excessive tension on wound edges local
tissue ischemia and necrosis.
• A = Another wound: Competition for the
substrates required for wound healing.
• L = Low temperature: (relatively) distal aspects
of the upper and lower extremities (a
reduction of 1-1.5°C [2-3°F] from normal core
body temperature) is responsible for slower
healing of wounds at these sites.
Wound evaluation and history
Wound preparation and closure
Optimize systemic parameters
Debride nonviable tissue
Reduce wound bioburden
Optimize blood flow
Use dressings appropriately
Use pharmacologic therapy
Close wounds with suturing/grafts/flaps as indicated
Wound Evaluation -HISTORY
• identify all extrinsic and intrinsic factors that
jeopardize healing and promote infection
– mechanism of injury
– time of injury (accelerated growth phase of
bacteria starts at 3 hours post wound)
– environment in which wound occurred
potential contaminants, foreign bodies
– species of animal if bite wound
– pt’s medical problems (allergies to
medication) / immune status
• tetanus immunization status
• Examine for:
– amount of tissue destruction
– degree of contamination
– damage to underlying structures
–Proximity to Other Structures
–Joints –Nerves –Tendons–Vasculature
–Test integrity of each structure
•Assess laxity/muscle and tendon function
•Assess 2-point discrimination
•Assess vascular supply
• Wound Location
– importance in the risk of infection
– high endogenous bacterial counts in hairy
scalp, forehead, axilla, groin, foreskin of
penis, vagina, mouth, nails
– wounds in areas of high vascularity more
easily resist infection (scalp, face)
Wound Preparation - Anesthesia
Solution or paste
– Direct infiltration
– 1% lidocaine with or without epinephrine
– Bupivicaine or sensorcaine for longer acting anesthesia
• Regional Block
– Local infiltration proximally in order to avoid tissue disruption
– Smaller amount of anesthesia required
> 6 hours
–Increases Duration of Action
–Avoid end-arterial blood supply areas
–May increase pain (low pH)
Wound Preparation - Hemostasis
• Direct Pressure–Usually best choice
– Use a tourniquet
Debridement & Reduction of Bioburden
• Surface irrigation with saline.
• Debridement: surgical, enzymatic (papain with urea,
collagenase), mechanical (pressurized water jet),
• Antibiotics: cellulitis, decreased rate of healing,
increased pain, straw colored oozing from skin,
contaminated wounds, mechanical implants.
• Removal of FB.
Wound Preparation – Foreign Body
• Suspect with point tenderness
• Visual inspection (to the apex)
– Glass, metal, gravel fragments >1mm should be
visible on plain radiographs
– Organic substances and plastics are usually
• Always discuss and document possibility of
retained foreign body
Wound preparation : CLEANING
• high pressure irrigation (Normal Saline)
• min 100-300 ml with continued irrigation
• at least 8 psi force to the wound the irrigation
fluid dislodges foreign bodies, contaminants, and
• A simple device setup
30-60 ml syringe and an 14-gauge angiocatheter.
• Shaving –Increases risk of infection X 10 !
• Clip Hair with Scissors
• Matt Hair with Ointment
• Never shave eyebrows ( may not regrow )
Wound closure in relation to time
• Primary closure
– Suture, staple, adhesive, or tape
– Performed on recently sustained lacerations: <12 hours
generally and <24 hours on face
• Secondary closure
– Secondary intent
– Allowed to granulate
• Tertiary closure
– Delayed primary (observed for 3-4days)
• Deep layer approximation
– Absorbable sutures
– Buried knot
– Serves two purposes
• Closes potential spaces
• Minimizes tension on the wound
Key – wound edge eversion
“Approximate, don’t strangulate”
Anticipate wound edema
Choose appropriate size of suture for location
Other devices in wound closure
– Quick, poor aesthetic result
– where scar is less of an issue (hairy scalp)
– clean, sharp edges, clean nonmobile areas, laceration
less than 5 cm in length
– superficial, straight laceration under little tension
• Maintain moist –24 –48 hours
•“Water-Tight” after 48 hours
Optimize systemic parameters
• Age: cannot be reversed, usage of growth
factors, aggressive optimization of systemic
parameters & supplementation.
• Avoidance of ischemia & malnutrition.
• Correction of diabetes, removal of FB.
• Avoidance of steroids, alcohol, smoking.
• Avoidance of reperfusion injury: total contact
casting, compression therapy.
Optimize systemic parametersnutrition
• Glucose -give energy for angiogenesis and the
deposition of new tissue.
• Fatty acids-essential for cell structure and have
an important role in the inflammatory process.
• Protein deficiency-contribute to poor healing
rates with reduced collagen formation and
• Vitamins- vitamins A (collagen synthesis,
antioxidant), C (collagen synthesis), and zinc
(fibroblast proliferation )..
• Negative pressure wound therapy: removes
pericellular transudate & wound exudate as
well as deleterious enzymes. Cannot be used
in ischemic, badly infected or inadequately
debrided wounds or in malignancy.
Indications for systemic antibiotic
for traumatic wounds
• Injury 6 hours old on the extremities
• Injury 24 hours old on the face and scalp
• Tendon, joint, or bony involvement
• Cartilage involvement
• Mammalian bite
• Co-morbidity (diabetes mellitus, extremes of age,
steroid use, morbid obesity)
• Puncture wound
• Complex intraoral wound
Wound preparation -Tetanus
• Clean wounds
– Incompleted immunization toxoid
– >10 years, then give toxoid
• Tetanus prone wound
– Incompleted immunization Toxoid &
– > 5 years, give toxoid
• Absorption characteristics: none – films, low –
hydrogels, moderate - hydrocolloids, high – foams,
• Hydrogels (eg. starch) rehydrate wounds (benefit in
small amounts of eschar, infected wounds).
• Hydrocolloids promote wound debridement by
• Antimicrobial dressings: silver, cadexomer iodine,
Suture removal guidelines
• Anatomic location
feet and hand
Collagen & chondroitin sulphate : Integra
Apligraftrade: skin substitute containing collagen and seeded cells
Alloderm: immunologically inert, nonliving, allogenic, acellular dermal matrix
with intact basement membrane prepares wound bed for grafting
Used for simple shallow wound dressing
Protects from water loss mechanical injury and drying
TransCyte (ECM matrix generated by
allogenic human dermal fibroblasts serves
as a matrix for neodermis generation
ORCEL: Composite cultured skin.
Fibroblasts, keratinocytes seeded on
opposite sides of bilayered matrix of
living allogenic dermal fibroblasts grown on a degradable scaffold. Good resistance to
• PDGF- becaplermin- US-FDA approved –
dibetic foot ulcers
• EGF- under trial
• VEGF- under trial
• Vit A: steroid use
• Absolutely of no use in normally healing
Flaps & Grafts
Radiation wounds require flaps.
Chronic nonhealing ulcers.
Extensive areas of ulceration.
Major soft tissue loss.
Other therapies: electrical stimulation for
beta-Glucan stimulates the macrophage activity
and promotes rapid wound healing.
Beta-Glucan Collagen mesh or
Glucan II (Beta-Glucan) mesh.
Rapid healing without dressing
Honey-impregnated dressing Chronic
Impregnated into a compress of EVA
Honey cleans the wound without disturbing
Removing the dressing causes no damage
no known side effects
• expeditiously prepare a wound bed for
surgical closure by tertiary intent.
• works through- relief of edema, improving
interstitial diffusion of oxygen to cells,
removes deleterious enzymes
• most wounds will heal optimally with a
pressure of 125 mm Hg, other wounds may
only tolerate a setting of 75 mm Hg before
capillary flow is occluded.
• Indications- lymphatic leaks, venous stasis ulcers,
diabetic wounds, and wounds with fistulae ,
sternal wounds, orthopedic wounds, and
• Some instances, it has enabled avoidance of free
flaps can also be used to assist the
neovascularization of skin grafts and tissue
engineered skin substitutes
• Contraindications- malignancy, ischemia,
inadequately debrided or badly infected wounds
• (HBO) (typically, 100% O2saturation at 2 to 3 ATA)
raises the dissolved oxygen saturation in plasma from
0.3% to nearly 7%.
• Stimulates angiogenesis and fibroblast migration,
enhances neutrophil and antibiotic killing action, and
suppresses alpha toxin production in gas gangrene.
if the periwound area/extremity demonstrates a rise in
tcPO2when the patient inspires supplemental oxygen,
the patient is likely to benefit from HBO.
not benefit from HBO: those with a normal
environmental perfusion, and those with ischemic limbs
who need a bypass to restore blood flow to a limb
Patients with irradiated skin or steroid
• Patients who are on steroids should receive
vitamin A (25,000 IU daily by mouth or 200,000
IU topically t.i.d.).
• The progressive endarteritis obliterans and
microvascular damage, along with fibrotic
interstitial changes, results in a wound marked by
ischemia, hampered by cellular senescence, and
prone to infection.
• gingerly debrided, antimicrobial dressings,
growth factors and even hyperbaric oxygen
therapy, microvascular free flap.
Pressure sore care
• Should be aggressively nourished and receive
• administration of growth hormone or anabolic
• air-fluidized beds, air mattresses, air flotation
and water flotation devices, and low air-loss
Wound Care in Patients with Diabetes
• components of pressure necrosis, functional
microangiopathy, and true neuropathic
• Selective debridement, control of glucose
levels, pressure offloading.
• use of growth factors
Wound Care in Patients with Venous
• Compression therapy is essential for venous
• stockings, elastic wraps, and multilayer wraps,
Unna boot-paste dressings and low-stretch
• contraindicated in patients with an ABI <0.7
• ideally the pressures exerted should be between
30 and 40 mm Hg
• continued for several weeks following successful
closure of the wound.
“ God heals, and the doctor
takes the fees ”
Benjamin Franklin(American Statesman, scientist, Philosopher)