Plain Gut (also known as plain catgut) suture material is an absorbable monofilament suture manufactured and marketed by Ethicon Inc. This suture material is absorbed rapidly and is therefore used where maintenance of tensile strength is not required for long periods.
What Is Plain Gut suture?
Surgical Plain Gut suture is composed of a strand derived from the submucosa of sheep small intestine or the serosa of bovine small intestine. The collagenous content of these layers is the material that forms the thread like quality of Plain Gut suture. Plain Gut 5-0 is recommended for use in the fine suturing of skin lacerations and due to its size with a maximum oversize diameter of 0.016 mm, is mostly used in paediatric wound closure.
Advantages Of Plain Gut Suture, Absorption Period And How Does It Compare?
Plain Gut suture material is generally available as packed with preservative of packing fluid 90% Isopropyl Alcohol, 0.5% Sodium Benzoate, 0.5% Diethylethanolamine and Water Q.S. It is important to keep in mind that there may be patients that have allergies to these components.
Plain Gut suture is very rapidly absorbed. It generates a moderate tissue reaction and hence is preferably not used in deeper tissues. It is not recommended for use in neurological and cardiovascular tissues. This tissue reaction is responsible for the proteolytic enzymes to reach the suture material implanted in a particular tissue after which the suture undergoes hydrolysis. This is also the reason that a suture material like Plain Gut will be absorbed faster in the presence of infection or if used in tissues that secrete such enzymes such as the stomach or vagina. Plain Gut is almost completely absorbed within 21 – 42 days.
Tensile strength of Plain Gut is not very good, and it should not be used for tissues that require the maintenance of a higher tensile strength till adequate healing is complete. Other absorbable sutures like Vicryl and Monocryl have tensile strengths of atleast 50 % maintained at 2 weeks post implantation. Plain Gut 5-0 is therefore indicated only in the closure of dermal wounds for which only approximation for a short period of time is adequate to heal sufficiently.
Tips On Using Surgical Supplies, Ethicon Plain Gut 5-0 Sutures And Sutures In General:
Plain Gut sutures are most commonly used in the management of paediatric wounds and lacerations and also in paediatric circumcision. After a thorough cleaning of the wound, Plain Gut sutures are used to approximate the skin edges together and to close triangular or elliptical skin flaps if necessary. The advantage of using Plain Gut in these situations is that suture removal is not required. Suture removal, especially if for small wounds or lacerations on the fingers, hands or the face can be cumbersome and troublesome to the patient. The rapid absorption of Plain Gut makes suture removal unnecessary and the outer ends simply fall off.