Importance: Wounds that heal under tension lead to wider and more conspicuous scars and result in decreased long-term patient satisfaction. We hypothesized that prolonged intradermal suture lifetime can decrease scar spread in wounds under tension. Objective: To determine whether prolonged intradermal support would help decrease scar spread. Design: Prospective, randomized, controlled, raterblinded, split-scar trial. Setting: Outpatient dermatology clinic at Dallas Veterans Affairs Hospital, Dallas, Texas. Patients: Patients presenting with skin cancer on the trunk were considered for the trial. We included 25 distinct surgical sites on a total of 22 patients. Intervention: After excision, the wounds were closed with polyglactin 910 and poly-4 hydroxybutyrate (P4HB) sutures in opposite halves of the same wound. Main Outcome Measures: Quantitative scar spread at 12 months and qualitative assessment using a visual analog scale and Hollander Wound Evaluation Scale. Results: We found a statistically significant difference in scar width between the 2 suture materials, with a mean difference of 2.3 (95% CI, 1.0-3.6) mm (P.001) favoring P4HB. A clinically significant difference on the visual analog and Hollander Wound Evaluation scales was not identified. Suture reactions were more common with P4HB. Conclusions and Relevance: Prolonged intradermal suture support leads to significantly decreased scar spread. However, the use of a longer-acting absorbable suture increases the rate of suture reaction noted at 3 months. Further studies into less reactive, longer-acting biomaterials are needed. In clinical practice, excisions in high-tension areas that are classically known to spread over time can benefit from longer-acting intradermal sutures.
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