The cuticular purse string suture: a modified purse string suture for the partial closure of round postoperative wounds.Int J Dermatol. 2007 Jul; 46(7):746-53.IJ
The purse string suture can be used to provide primary closure for small skin defects or as a partial closure for larger round wounds. The size of the defect is reduced secondary to the tension placed on the suture, which uniformly advances the skin from the entire periphery of the wound.
We reviewed retrospectively the features of 98 consecutive patients for whom a total of 100 cuticular purse string sutures were used to partially close their postoperative surgical defects. The location and types of the tumors removed were also summarized.
Postoperative wounds were created following Mohs' micrographic excision of nonmelanoma skin cancer (basal cell carcinoma, 44; squamous cell carcinoma, 25), wide local excision of melanoma (29), or conservative excision of benign cutaneous neoplasms (two). The incidence of purse string suture for partial closure of each tumor was 4.1% for basal cell carcinoma, 7.3% for squamous cell carcinoma, and 46.3% for melanoma. The tumors were equally distributed on the trunk, head and neck, and extremities; however, purse string closures for basal cell carcinomas were more frequent on the trunk, head, and neck, relative to squamous cell carcinomas and melanomas, which were more common on the extremities. Concurrent medical problems and/or the use of an agent with anticoagulant or antiplatelet effects were noted in more than 50% of patients. Absorbable material of thicker diameter was most frequently used for the suture, and the postoperative wound area decreased by 6-90% (mean, 60%) following purse string partial closure. The suture was usually removed after 3-4 weeks. Postoperative complications occurred in six patients: allergic contact dermatitis in two, wound infection in two, exuberant granulation tissue in one, and hypertrophic scar in one. All of the wounds healed completely with either a round or linear scar.
The cuticular purse string suture is a rapid and simple procedure that provides complete or partial closure of round skin defects and excellent long-term cosmetic and functional results. This closure provides uniform tension to the wound, enhances hemostasis at the tissue edge, and significantly decreases the size of the defect. Partial wound closure with the purse string suture may be advantageous following the local excision of melanoma, either as definitive surgical wound management or as a temporary partial wound closure prior to subsequent complete repair of the surgical defect. The purse string suture is also useful following nonmelanoma skin cancer removal in patients who insist on maintaining an active lifestyle in the immediate postoperative period, who are receiving one or more systemic anticoagulant and/or antiplatelet agents, and who have large surgical wounds that would require either a skin graft or a local cutaneous flap in order to close the postoperative defect.