PROVIDING that a suture material can be rendered sterile without significantly altering its physical state and providing that it endows a wound with sufficient mechanical tensile strength for coaptation over a period well beyond the usual time of appearance of biologic tensile strength, it may be considered for clinical usage. The nonabsorbable materials commonly employed fulfil these requirements, but it has been the experience of many that the commonly used absorbable material, surgical gut, does so only partially.1
The ultimate criterion, however, in evaluation of a suture material is the degree of foreign body inflammatory response that it incites in living tissue. Of obvious advantage is the use of a suture material found least detrimental to wound healing.
Considerable clinical and experimental data are existent indicating the greater degree of inflammatory response, with consequent higher incidence of wound complications including infection, with the use of absorbable materials.2 There