Published on: July 22, 2019 | Topics: Surgery
Whether someone is going in for a planned procedure or being operated on during an emergency, surgeons have a number of choices when it comes to wound closure. Unfortunately, the most common method, suturing, dates back to 3,000 BCE and there have been few effective advancements since that time. Here are some of the issues that may occur with traditional suturing, and one way to avoid them.
5 Reasons Why Sutures May Not Be the Right Choice for Surgeons
Usually caused by poor suturing (for example, if stitches are applied too tightly) or if too much stress is applied to the wound area (if, for example, a patient lifts something heavy while still recovering), stitches can easily separate, exposing the incision and exposing the patient to infection (not to mention, it can be quite traumatic). The weakened immune systems of patients with diabetes, cancer, and other diseases that compromise skin integrity are also highly susceptible to wound dehiscence.
Stitched wounds, no matter how perfectly sewn, are ultimately holding together broken skin. And broken skin, when not airtight, gives bacteria an open door and cannot protect the body as well as intact skin. Even if the surgeon has sutured a wound perfectly, poor wound cleaning by patients and showering can still be cause for concern. In addition, patients who are older, overweight, or suffer from diabetes and other conditions may find themselves at a higher risk for infection.
Putting together two pieces of skin is going to leave a mark; the prominence of it, however, is a different story. For example, surgical staples do not allow for precise wound alignment, often leading to an arched stapled position. In most patients, stapling also makes a scar more pronounced and darker in color, especially if the staples are left in for any length of time. That’s not all. Scarring tends to give patients a poor opinion of their surgeon, damaging their reputation and referral opportunities.
Surgeons performing planned procedures are always short on time (there are 6.5 million orthopedic procedures alone every year). Add to that, trauma surgeons who may be working with little time whatsoever. Making matters worse, traditional methods of wound closure can be time-consuming, taking away precious minutes from a surgeon’s schedule and possibly precious minutes from somebody’s life. When trying to stabilize a patient and stop the bleeding during the golden hour, suturing is time-consuming (not to mention, it often requires a trip back to the surgeon for removal, taking up more time).
Suturing is meant to fix someone, not hurt them. Unfortunately, needle-stick injuries happen. Not only can these inflict disease onto the patient, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports that of the 35 million global healthcare workers, 2 million experience exposure to infectious diseases each year. It further notes that nearly 38% are exposed to Hepatitis B, 39% to Hepatitis C, and more than 4% to HIV/AIDS.
BandGrip: A Better Approach to Wound Closure
Designed for speed and ease of use, BandGrip is a 3.5”x1.5” bandage that offers a non-invasive method of wound closure without the use of needles or staples. Simple and intuitive, the bandage can be applied by a wide range of healthcare professionals and reduce wound closure time by more than 30%. When BandGrip is applied, small micro-anchors grip the skin gently and securely to pull wound edges together. You can see it in action here.
BandGrip solves for the challenges listed above. With BandGrip, there is less chance of wound dehiscence and infection. Scarring and the time it takes to apply is reduced, and needle-stick injury is eliminated.
Recently, MedTech Outlook, a leading medical source, chose BandGrip as a leading innovator for providing surgeons with an alternative to sutures, staples, glues, and adhesives. You can read more here.