How to Perform Vertical Mattress Sutures for Wound Closure

How to Perform Vertical Mattress Sutures for Wound Closure

**Video: How To Perform Vertical Mattress Sutures**

In times of trouble or emergency situations, knowing how to perform basic medical procedures can be a lifesaver. One such procedure that can come in handy is the vertical mattress suture. This technique is especially useful for closing wounds in areas under tension, where regular sutures may not provide enough support. In this article, we will discuss the vertical mattress suture and how to perform it.

**What is a Vertical Mattress Suture?**

A vertical mattress suture is a double-layered suture technique that provides excellent wound closure and eversion. It is often used in areas with high tension, such as the scalp or limbs, where regular sutures may not hold well. The technique involves creating an interrupted suture pattern that crosses the wound perpendicular to its long axis, creating a vertical mattress appearance.

**How to Perform a Vertical Mattress Suture**

Performing a vertical mattress suture requires some basic supplies, including a suture needle, suture material, and a pair of sterile gloves. Here are the steps to follow:

1. Clean and prepare the wound: Before starting the procedure, make sure the wound is clean and free from debris. Use an antiseptic solution to clean the area surrounding the wound.

2. Anesthetize the area (if necessary): If the patient is experiencing pain, it may be necessary to administer a local anesthetic before proceeding.

3. Insert the needle: Begin by inserting the needle parallel to the wound edge on one side, about 3-4 mm away from the edge. The needle should enter the dermis and exit through the epidermis.

4. Create the first bite: After exiting the wound, re-insert the needle on the opposite side, entering through the epidermis and exiting through the dermis. This creates the first “bite” of the suture, anchoring it in place.

5. Create the second bite: Now, insert the needle again on the same side as the first bite, about 3-4 mm away from the initial entry point. The needle should pass under the skin and exit through the epidermis on the opposite side.

6. Tie the knot: Once both bites have been completed, tie a secure knot to close the wound.

7. Repeat the process: Depending on the length of the wound, repeat the above steps at regular intervals to ensure adequate closure.

**Tips and Tricks for Successful Vertical Mattress Sutures**

– Use a suture material appropriate for the wound size and tension. Thicker sutures may be needed for areas under more tension.
– Ensure proper wound preparation and cleanliness before starting the procedure.
– Take your time and be gentle while inserting the needle to avoid unnecessary tissue damage.
– Always use sterile gloves and instruments to prevent infection.
– If the wound is deep, consider using absorbable sutures to avoid the need for suture removal.
– Practice makes perfect! Before attempting a vertical mattress suture in an emergency situation, it is advisable to practice on a silicone training pad or skin model.

**My 2 Cents**

The vertical mattress suture is a valuable technique to have in your medical skill set, especially in situations where regular sutures may not hold well. This technique provides excellent wound closure and eversion, reducing the risk of infection and improving the healing process.

Remember, however, that it is crucial to practice proper wound care and preparation before attempting any suturing procedure. Always clean the wound thoroughly and use sterile instruments and gloves to minimize the risk of infection.

If you find yourself in an emergency situation where suturing is necessary, don’t panic. Take a deep breath, follow the steps outlined above, and take your time. With practice and experience, you will become confident in performing vertical mattress sutures and other essential medical procedures.

Stay prepared, stay knowledgeable, and stay safe!