THE DEVELOPMENT of a large scale, coordinated program of "reparative surgery" was a brilliant achievement of the 3recent war.1 With conservation and rehabilitation of fighting man power as the ultimate goal, delayed suture, or secondary closure of wounds, evolved into one of the most important contributions in this expanded program of "reparative surgery."
In the development of our present concept of delayed suture, several formalities, technics or methods of closure were utilized, each having its ardent advocates. One of these, that of preliminary inspection, bacteriologic studies and the application of wet dressings before an attempt at closure, was found to be not only unnecessary but actually unfavorable to best results. Unless there was obvious evidence of sepsis, a fixed policy was adopted of leaving the initial dressing undisturbed until the patient arrived in the operating room. At that time the wounds were evaluated, and unless infection was grossly apparent