How long have medical stitches been used?

A quick, not too weird question…how long have Stitches been used medically, by humans? A google search keeps giving me embroidery links.
Well, thanks for your time,


A long time:

From this article

Googling “sutures” instead of “stitches” will get you more results.


More on the Edwin Smith Papyrus:

The papyrus was thought to be written in the 17th century BC, and the original is thought to date from the 30th century BC.

So we’ve been suturing for over 5000 years, apparently.

I heard about soldier ants being used as sutures; I’m not sure of the veracity of the story, but reportedly they are allowed to nip the two sides of the wound together with their pincers, then the ant’s body is cut off, leaving only the head and tightly-closed pincers in place.

I once spoke with a man who told me that he had had this technique used on him. My informant was a marine accident investigator with whom I was chatting in the line of work: he didn’t seem to be pulling my leg.

According to his account he had been one of the British officers running a detention camp in Kenya after the Mau Mau rebellion (1956). The first time he was attacked by an inmate with a knife he suffered a wound in his right forearm, which was closed with sutures by a fellow-officer and which left a scar that was still conspicuous 35 years later. The second time he was attacked thus he suffered a wound in his left forearm which was closed using ants by a Kikuyu prisoner. The scar was equally long, but much finer, and without pucker-marks: a far better cosmetic result.

Make of that what you will.


Thousands of years, since before Egyptian times.

You can “stitch” a scalp laceration by tying hair on either side together. Bet this has been used since neolithic man!