Nondissolvable Sutures Left Under the Skin: Best Solutions

Nondissolvable sutures under the skin: Sutures are sewing’s that doctors use to hold torn flesh after a surgery or to close an injury. Sometimes, the sutures are made with dissolvable materials and non-dissolvable materials other times.

In the sewing process, the doctor uses clean surgical threads to merge the two edges of flesh. Although sutures are widely used there are also other methods like stapling.

Some doctors prefer to use staples over sutures because staples are faster than stitching. Like, for injuries with excessive bleeding, using staples is faster than sutures.

They also have a lower risk of causing infections than sutures.

However, surgical threads have more tensile strength and can withstand tension and pressure which makes them durable.

There are two kinds of sutures :

  • Dissolvable sutures and
  • Nondissolvable sutures.

Just as their names indicate, dissolvable sutures can be absorbed by the skin but non-dissolvable sutures cannot be absorbed by the skin.

What are Nondissolvable sutures under the skin?

Nondissolvable sutures are sutures made of materials that cannot be absorbed by the skin. Instead, these materials remain on the skin until the day of removal. However, if these sutures are made in places that might not be opened again after the surgery, non dissolvable sutures might not be removed at all.

Nondissolvable sutures are used in organs and tissues that have continuous rhythmic movement, like the heart. They are also used in vital tissues that might take some time to heal.

If absorbable sutures are used in these organs that take time to heal, the sutures might get absorbed before the torn tissue heals completely or even starts healing. This would lead to other complications that are medical emergencies.

Types of Nondissolvable sutures under the skin

There are different kinds of non dissolvable materials used in non dissolvable sutures. Let’s discuss some;

●     Silk sutures

Silk sutures are mostly used by dentists during surgeries, or to close dental injuries.

This is a non dissolvable suture whose sewing material (silk) is black in color. However, silk sutures have more disadvantages than advantages, especially in dentistry.

One major disadvantage of silk sutures is that they attract bacteria to a wound. This implies that silk sutures can easily cause infections.

Silk sutures can be used in cesarean sections, micro surgeries, ligating blood vessels, and general closures.

These sutures are one of the non-dissolvable sutures whose soft texture makes them more comfortable for patients. The silk material is gentle on delicate tissues. Silk sutures degrade approximately after two years.

●     Polypropylene sutures

Polypropylene is another kind of non dissolvable suture. It is commonly used in animal and human surgery.

Unlike silk, polypropylene is a monofilament material. This material reduces its risk of causing infections.

Polypropylene sutures are not affected by blood nor are they weakened by enzymes in the tissue. They have enormous tensile strength even in infected parts of the body because it is not easily degraded.

Polypropylene has a bluish pigment thereby making it visible and easily identifiable in surgery.

●     Steel sutures

Steel sutures are non dissolvable sutures that are made out of thin steel wires. These sutures are the most inert non dissolvable sutures used and have proven to be the most inert kinds of sutures.

Steel surgeries are used in surgeries around the abdomen, particularly in the intestines, hernia, and most times in the fixing of bones.

Although it is inert, steel sutures are malleable, and do not break while knotting, like polypropylene.

●     Polyamide sutures

Polyamide is a monofilament material that cannot be dissolved by the skin or body tissues. As such, it is used to make non dissolvable sutures in special areas of the body.

Polyamide is also used in animal and human operations. They have very notable characteristics like tough fibers, elasticity, and resistance to both acid and alkalis.

Just like polypropylene, polyamide sutures can be used in infected areas without causing further complications. Polyamides are mostly available in black colors.

●     Polyester sutures

Polyester material can also be used to make non dissolvable sutures. The material has a multifilament structure and is available in green and white colors. Polyester materials contain chemicals like polycarbonate and poly butyrate that add to its advantages.

This nonabsorbable suture is mostly used for heart surgeries, bone surgeries, and general closures. Polyester sutures have high tensile strength, high resistance to acid and alkali, they are wrinkle-proof.

What are the advantages of Nonabsorbable sutures

Here are some of the advantages of dissolvable sutures;

  • Nondissolvable sutures can hold tissues together for 2-3 months without breaking off. Dissolvable sutures on the other hand, lose all or half of their tensile strength within a short period of time.

This great tensile strength makes nonabsorbable sutures are better option than absorbable sutures, especially in places like the heart. Non-dissolvable tissues are also used for minor wounds.

  • Furthermore, non-dissolvable sutures have very low possibilities of causing irritation, skin infections or lead to itching and redness.
  • Nondissolvable sutures are also used for skin closure and remain intact in the body as long as it isn’t removed. It is known that they are cheaper and also easier to remove. It is also used in other kinds of surgeries like hernia.

Can nonabsorbable sutures cause complications?

Nondissolvable sutures can also cause complications.

  • Take for instance, silk sutures can be penetrated by cells in the body. Once cells get into the suture, the silk suture would become painful. In some cases, the person might be immobile depending on where the silk suture was used.
  • Some non dissolvable sutures can cause infections, like sutures.

To prevent these complications, it is best if non dissolvable sutures are not left under the skin. Leaving none dissolvable sutures under the skin could cause scars.

Also, if you intend on using dissolvable sutures, use it on areas where having a scar won’t be troubling.


In conclusion, nondissolvable sutures under the skin are sutures that can’t be absorbed by the body tissues. It is mostly used for internal organs and tissues that take more time to heal.

Also, while you’re selecting the type of suture you would prefer, keep in mind that selecting should be based on the region of the injury, the severity or depth of the wound and the nature of the wound, how long it might take the wound to heal.

It is advised to take these things into consideration before trying to perform any kind of suture at all.

If you are a patient, always ask your doctor what type of suture he would use. Ask why he is using it and also provide your options.

Lastly, always give a complete and sincere medical history before any surgery. If you have used bleaching compounds, please tell your doctor as it might cause complications while making sutures.


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