Q:

What are the different kinds of stitches?

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Quick Answer

Types of stitches are continuous stitches, which use a single line of suture material; simple interrupted stitches, where a single suture line is cut and used more than once to close a wound; mattress stitches, which penetrate deeply into the skin; and subcuticular stitches, which penetrate just under the skin's surface. Each is used depending on the type of wound and the area of the body that needs stitching.

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Full Answer

Stitching is a technique that uses sutures to close a wound. There are two main types of sutures used to make stitches: dissolvable or absorbable and nondissolvable or nonabsorbable. The two types are made from an assortment of different materials and used for various locations on the body. Absorbable sutures are made from synthetic polymers such as polyglactin, polyglycolic acid, polyglyconate, poliglecaprone and polydioxanone or from catgut. They are meant to be broken down and absorbed by the body and do not need to be removed.

Nonabsorbable sutures are made from nylon, silk, polypropylene and steel. They are removed from the body after the wound has healed. Medical staples, which are not technically stitches, are a type of suture that are nonabsorbable and are made from titanium, stainless steel, iron, chromium, nickel or plastic.

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    When should you get stitches?

    A:

    If the wound is deep enough to expose yellow, fatty tissue, it probably needs stitches, warns About.com. If the wound refuses to close or stop bleeding, it needs stitches.

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    What do infected stitches look like?

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    There are various signs to look for that indicate when stitches are infected, including yellow or green discharge from the wound, changes in the size of the incision, redness around the stitches, hardening of the surrounding area and excessive bleeding, according to WebMD. Stitches are one of the most common methods for closing a wound.

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    Where can I learn how to make tapestry stitches?

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    The Encyclopedia of Needlework, by Thérèse de Dillmont, provides an excellent introduction to the methods and history of tapestry stitching. The book explains clearly what materials are most suitable for the project and uses plain language and simple diagrams to help the reader understand the different stitches used for tapestry work.

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    How long can you wait to get stitches?

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    If it is certain that a wound requires stitches, WebMD recommends that the wound not remain open for longer than six to eight hours after the injury occurs. In rarer cases, a wound may be left open for 24 hours or not stitched at all so that adequate cleaning and antibiotic treatment can be performed initially to prevent infection. Clean cuts may be able to wait 12 to 24 hours.

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