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The History of Suture - Essay Example

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The History of Suture Introduction “The history of wound suturing reflects that of surgery itself” (Kuijjer, 1998, p.473). Wound treatment includes the technique of suturing as well as suturing materials used for the purpose. In ancient India, Egypt, Greece and Rome, wound treatment and suturing techniques and instruments were developed which have a close resemblance to those in contemporary use…
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Download file to see previous pages After World War II (1939-1945), the greatest developments in wound suturing began with the introduction of advanced, partly automatic stapler machinery, as well as the manufacture of synthetic non-resorbable and resorbable fibres. These revolutionary techniques fuelled the development of new fields such as microsurgery (Kuijjer, 1998). Thesis Statement: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the history of suture including advances in suturing techniques and the evolution of suturing materials. The History of Suture The history of surgery is inextricably linked with the history of suturing, or stitching together two surfaces or edges. Allusion to sutures and the suturing of wounds in an ancient Egyptian scroll (circa 3,500 BC) is considered as the oldest existing surgical treatise. The term suture means to sew, which Hippocrates used in 400 BC. About 1000 years before Christ, the Indian medical book Charaka’s Samhita described many techniques of suturing including the closing of wounds by ant pincers in bowel surgery. Once the large black ants with powerful jaws clamped the edges of the wound together with their pincers, their bodies were twisted off (Snyder, 1976). In 600 BC the ancient Indian surgeon Sushruta’s medical treatise is a compilation of plastic surgery and opthalmology which mentions sutures made from animal sinews, braided horsehair, leather strips, cotton and fibers made from the bark of the ashniantaka tree. From 100 BC Egyptian mummies have shown evidence of sutured wounds. Further, in 100 BC, a learned Roman, Cornelius Celsus used the word suture both as a noun and as a verb: to suture; “he also named the skull sutures coronal, sagittal, and lambdoidal” (Snyder, 1976, p.401). By 30 AD, the Roman Celsus again described the use of sutures and clips, and in 150 AD, Galen used silk and catgut, and explained their use as sutures (Galli, 2011). Soon sutures were used to tie off tissues, through a process called ligature. In 165 AD, Galen who was physician to the Roman gladiators recommended their use for their wounds, to prevent paralysis. In 1555, Ambroise Pare, the French military surgeon changed his treatment of bleeding vessels caused by amputation, from hot irons and boiling oils to ligation. He also introduced the use of stitched linen adhesives to close saber wounds and to prevent scar formation. Also among the early advocates of suturing all fresh wounds as well as severed tendons and tissue was Andreas Vesalius, the greatest anatomist of the Renaissance (Snyder, 1976). The history of sutures which began more than 2000 years ago correlates with the first records of eyed needles. Before the end of the first millennium, Avicenna used monofilament with pig bristles in infected wounds. Surgical and suture techniques advanced significantly in the late 1800s, with the development of sterilization procedures. Subsequently, modern methods created uniformly sized sutures (Galli, 2011). The Evolution of Suturing Materials According to Mackenzie (1973), the term sutures includes those which hold a wound together until it has healed, as well as ligatures used to tie off a blood vessel such as an artery. Between 50,000 and 30,000 BC, eyed needles were invented and used for suturing. From ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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