The efficacy of presuturing was tested by quantitating the tissue gains for standardized wounds in a white swine piglet (9 to 11-kg) model. Also measured were the changes in wound closure tension for the wounds. Measurements were carried out at 1, 4, 17, 24, 48, and 72 hours in a total of 20 piglets. Presuturing was carried out on one of the flanks and the opposite flank served as the control. Presuturing achieved a modest tissue gain, amounting to 67 mm at 4 hours and a maximum of 1.4 cm at 48 and 72 hours, for a 4-cm defect. The encouraging tissue gain was unfortunately not paralleled by a decrease in the tension required to approximate the wound edges. At 4 hours, the tension to close the wound was 1.2 N (only 120 g) less than the control wound. This initial small reduction in wound-closing tension was diminished thereafter, and at 72 hours the wounds were stiffer and harder to close than the control. This appeared to be due to tissue edema and was confirmed by an increase in measurable tissue water with increasing time. In this model, presuturing produces a minimal tissue advancement and even less reduction in wound-closing tension. It is concluded, from this work and from previously published work, that undermining will prove generally to be a more useful technique in closing broad defects.
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