Syneture™ stainless STEEL suture. A collective review of its performance in surgical wound closure

Richard F. Edlich, David B. Drake, George T. Rodeheaver, Kathryne L. Winters, Jill A. Greene, K. Dean Gubler, William B. Long, L. D. Britt, Samuel P. Winters, Christine C. Scott, Kant Y. Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Syneture™ (division of U.S. Surgical, division of Tyco Healthcare, Norwalk, Connecticut, USA) STEEL sutures are monofilament stainless steel sutures composed of 316L stainless steel conforming to ASTM Standard F138 grade 2 ("Stainless steel bar and wire for surgical implant"). STEEL sutures meet all requirements established by the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) for nonabsorbable surgical sutures. Steel sutures are for use in abdominal wound closure, intestinal anastomosis, hernia repair, sternal closure, and skin closure. They are attached to the following types of surgical needles: Roto-Grip™ Needles and SCC Needle. The sutures and needles are packaged in a Mylar™/Tyvek™ outer envelope. The purposes of this clinical review are two fold. First, we will report the performance of the Syneture™ STEEL suture product in the largest studies of suture performance ever reported in the literature. In addition, we will provide comprehensive information from the surgical literature that highlights the unique benefits of stainless steel sutures for the following wound closure techniques: sternal fixation, abdominal wound repair, inguinal hernia repair, and skin wound closure. Consorta Inc. (Rolling Meadows, Illinois), a leading healthcare resource management group purchasing organization, and Syneture™, jointly with a clinician task force, designed a reproducible surgical evaluation program for needles and sutures in a large cooperative of healthcare systems. Because of the subjective nature of the more commonly used suture selection techniques, a nonexperimental observational study approach was designed to replace perception of performance characteristics with actual clinical experience. In a report involving 19 Consorta shareholder hospitals, they discussed the preliminary part (Phase I) of a large nonexperimental observational study of the clinical performance of surgical needles and sutures. Performance characteristics of the sutures and needles produced by Syneture™ that were evaluated in 3407 surgical procedures included packaging/ease of opening, needle strength and sharpness, tissue drag, knot security, tensile strength, clinically acceptable determinations, and clinically unacceptable determinations. In this preliminary study, the surgeons concluded that the needles and sutures were clinically acceptable in 98.1% of the evaluations. Armed with this favorable experience, we wanted to expand this observational study to an entirely new group of shareholder hospitals that had a larger number of participating hospitals (Phase I, 19 hospitals; Phase II, 42 hospitals). This more than doubling of hospital observational base dramatically increased the number of patients and performance evaluations. In the Phase II expanded program involving 42 hospitals, the number of patients (8939) and the number of evaluations (25,545) were more than twofold the preliminary study. In the phase I multicentric evaluation of Syneture™ surgical sutures, the performance of 9266 sutures was evaluated. Of these performance evaluations, 130 evaluations focused on Syneture™ STEEL sutures. The surgeons were especially pleased by the performance of this suture product, with 129 Syneture™ STEEL products being judged as clinically acceptable in their performance. Only one Syneture™ STEEL suture was judged to be unacceptable in its performance, resulting in a 99.2% acceptability rating. In the expanded phase II evaluation of Syneture™ suture products, the performance evaluation involved 25,545 surgical suture evaluations. The performance of Syneture™ STEEL sutures was judged in 215 cases. Of these product performance evaluations, 207 were judged to be clinically acceptable in their performance (96.3%). It is important to emphasize that the phase I and phase II observational studies evaluated the performance of other sutures besides monofilament steel sutures. These comprehensive suture and needle performance evaluations included the following additional sutures: Plain Gut, Mild Chromic Gut, Chromic Gut, DEXON™ II, DEXON™ S, MAXON™, BIOSYN™, SOFSILK™, SURGILON™, BRALON™, MONOSOF™, DERMALON™, SURGIDAC™, POLYSORB™, TI•CRON™, SURGIPRO™, SURGIPRO™ II, NOVAFIL™, VASCUFIL™, and FLEXON™. Finally, we provide a collective review of the literature that shows the reliable performance of monofilament stainless steel sutures in the following wound closure techniques: sternal fixation, abdominal wound closure, inguinal hernia repair, and skin wound closure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-110
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Long-Term Effects of Medical Implants
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2006


  • 316l stainless steel ASTM standard F138
  • Clinical acceptability
  • Evaluation
  • Group purchasing
  • Monofilament stainless steel sutures
  • Performance
  • Selection
  • Sternal fixation
  • Surgical specialties
  • Syneture™
  • Syneture™ STEEL sutures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • General Dentistry


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