View Full Version : stitches
04-17-2002, 06:30 AM
What are dissolving stitches made of? They must be made of something that can be broken down by the body somehow. But what is it?
The reason I ask is that have some stitches on the inside of my cheek right now because I think the doctor cut me when I was having my wisdom teeth removed. Some have gone away but this one bunch is still here after more than a week.
04-17-2002, 06:52 AM
I have no idea what they are made of, but I do know that after I had my wisdom teeth out, some of the dissolving stitches didn't go away for almost two weeks. Even then, they didn't dissolve persay, move like just broke at some point and came out - be prepared to discover more or less whole stitches in your mouth first thing in the morning, or amongst whatever food you can currently eat (finding one amongst a mouthful of porridge made a particularly strong impression on me - delightful).
04-17-2002, 09:35 AM
According to HowStuffWorks (http://www.howstuffworks.com/question611.htm):
Dissolvable stitches are made from natural materials, such as processed collagen (animal intestines), silk and hair, as well as some synthetic materials that the body can break down.
04-17-2002, 11:11 AM
Quoting my biomaterials text:
. . . the most popular natural materials used for sutures are silk and catgut (animal intestine)
Approximately half of today's sutures are nonabsorbable and remain indefinitely intact when placed in the body. Common engineering polymers like polypropylene, nylon, poly(ethylene terephthalate), and polyethylene are sued as sutures . . . Absorbable sutures were commercially introduced by Daves + Geck in 1970 with poly(glycolic acid) (PGA) sutures and were followed by copolymers of glycolide and lactide from Ethicon and U. S. Surgical.
The most common materials for absorbable "stuff" (not limited to just sutures) are poly(glycolic acid) and poly(lactic acid). These are polymers composed of repeating units of glycolic acid and lactic acid, both of which can be processed by your body's metabolic pathways. The exact timing of their breakdown depends on you own individual biochemistry, stresses and strains on the material, the amount of material (and it's exact formulation), and in this case, diet (I'm sure some foods will cause breakdown faster than others).
I guess I'm learning stuff in school, after all.
04-18-2002, 08:04 PM
Dissolvable stitches are made from natural materials, such as processed collagen (animal intestines),
Wow that's gross.
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