Three part question
In [paediatric patients with traumatic lacerations], does [the use of absorbable sutures compared with non‐absorbable sutures] [increase the rates of complications and long term cosmesis]?
A 10 year old boy presents after a suffering a laceration on his lower leg from a snow skiing accident. It cannot be closed using glue. You would like to save the child the pain and discomfort of suture removal. You wonder if absorbable sutures would increase the rate of complications or scarring.
Medline 1966–November 2005 using the OVID interface; Cochrane Library, 2005: [(exp lacerations or laceration.mp) AND (exp sutures/or suture.mp) AND (exp treatment outcome/ OR exp cosmetic techniques/ OR exp wound infection/)]. LIMIT to human AND English AND “all child (0 to 18 years)”. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: [Suture and absorbable]
Medline: 31 papers found of which 30 were irrelevant or of insufficient quality (see table 3 for the single best paper). Cochrane: 23 papers found, no new additional references found.
The use of absorbable sutures in children has the benefit of avoiding the emotional and physical trauma and cost of suture removal. The only prospective randomised controlled trial showed no difference between absorbable sutures and non‐absorbable sutures in the rate of complications as well as cosmesis. However, too many patients were lost to long term follow up.