Comparison of Traditional Superficial Cutaneous Sutures Versus Adhesive Strips in Layered Dermatologic Closures on the Back-A Prospective, Randomized, Split-Scar Study

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Dermatologic surgery : official publication for American Society for Dermatologic Surgery [et al.]


BACKGROUND: Bilayered suture repairs have become the standard of care in dermatologic surgery. However, the benefit of superficial sutures for fine epidermal alignment on high-tension areas remains unclear.

OBJECTIVE: To compare the overall cosmetic outcome of traditional epidermal sutures with adhesive strips in layered dermatologic repairs on the back.

METHODS: A total of 10 patients underwent standard elliptical excision on the back followed by subcutaneous closure with 4-0 polyglactin 910 buried sutures. Each half of the wound was then randomized to either 4-0 polypropylene running sutures or 1/4″ Steri-Strip films for epidermal approximation. Postoperative evaluations were completed in person at 2 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months using the Patient and Observer Scar Assessment Scale.

RESULTS: The adhesive strip group had superior appearance and greater patient satisfaction at 2 weeks. Evaluation at 3 months and 6 months revealed no statistically significant difference in overall scar cosmesis.

CONCLUSION: Adhesive strips result in equivalent long-term scar outcome when compared with traditional epidermal sutures and should be viewed as a time-saving alternative in layered dermatologic repairs on the back. This finding further corroborates that undermining and placement of deep buried sutures are the primary determinants of wound appearance.

Medical Subject Headings

Aged; Back; Cicatrix; Female; Follow-Up Studies; Humans; Male; Middle Aged; Nevus; Patient Satisfaction; Pliability; Prospective Studies; Skin Neoplasms; Surgical Tape; Sutures; Time Factors; Wound Closure Techniques

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