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Companion Animal Practice
Suture materials and patterns
  1. Jacqui Niles

    Jacqui Niles qualified from the Royal Veterinary College, London, in 1993. She is a resident in small animal soft tissue surgery at Liverpool University and holds the RCVS certificate in small animal surgery. Her special interests include all aspects of soft tissue surgery, especially the surgical management of portosystemic shunts and chylothorax.

  2. John Williams

    John Williams qualified from Cambridge University in 1984. He holds the certificate in veterinary radiology, and an FRCVS, and is a diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Surgeons. He is currently director of small animal studies at Liverpool University and is an RCVS Specialist in Small Animal Surgery (Soft Tissue). His clinical interests lie in portosystemic shunts, and reconstructive and cardiorespiratory surgery.


SUTURES are used either for apposing tissues or for ligation, and a variety of different types of suture material is currently available. Suture selection should be based on knowledge of the physical and biological properties of suture materials, an assessment of the healing rate of a particular tissue and local conditions in the wound. The ideal properties of a suture material have yet to be fulfilled by any single product on the market. The purpose of this article is to outline the properties of the available suture materials and to give an indication of when and how to use them.

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