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[Slide Show] Sealing the Deal: What You Need to Know Before Going under the Knife

Sutures, surgical needles and wound-closing adhesives play a crucial role in recovering from surgery

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BUILDING BLOCKS:

Sutures and mesh are made from polymer chips like the ones seen here. They are later stretched into fibers and woven together into braided sutures and mesh patches that adhere to a wound area.....[ More ]

SURGICAL MESH:

Surgeons often use pieces of mesh to repair a protruding wound, such as a hernia. This mesh consists of polymer fibers woven together in patches that adhere to a wound area. As the wound heals, "the body itself provides the spackle" that holds the mesh in place, Dormier says.....[ More ]

HOLDING FIRM UNDER PRESSURE:

Available in Europe since 2007, Ethicon's Prineo Skin Closure System combines self-adhering mesh and a topical skin adhesive as an alternative to sutures in some instances. Prineo is designed to hold a wound together even when the body exerts pressure on the opening.....[ More ]

SEWING THE STERNUM:

Surgical needles are as diverse as the sutures themselves, with some no larger than an eyelash and others nearly the length of an index finger. Many of these needles are made from steel (Ethicon has its own patented Ethalloy steel).....[ More ]

AROUND THE WORLD 20 TIMES:

Ethicon, Inc., makes enough suture thread annually to wrap around the world 20 times along the equator, says Ed Dormier, the company's vice president for new technology. In addition, Ethicon makes more than a million surgical needles daily.....[ More ]

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