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Am J Emerg Med. 2004 Jul;22(4):254-7.

Cosmetic outcomes of facial lacerations repaired with tissue-adhesive, absorbable, and nonabsorbable sutures.

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Department of Emergency Medicine, Regions Hospital, 640 Jackson Street, St Paul, Minnesota, USA.


The objective of this study was to compare the 9- to 12-month cosmetic outcome of facial lacerations closed with rapid-absorbing gut suture (RG), octylcyanoacrylate (OC), or nylon suture (NL). We hypothesized that no important differences would exist between these methods. This prospective, randomized study enrolled consecutive patients with facial lacerations when experienced physician assistants were on duty for wound closure. Patients returned at 9 to 12 months for cosmetic evaluation. Two blinded physicians performed visual analog cosmesis scale (VACS) scoring, and the patient completed a VAS satisfaction score. One hundred forty-five patients were enrolled. Nine-month follow up occurred in 84 patients. The maximum difference within each evaluator's set of scores was 3.6 mm, well below the minimum clinically important difference (MCID) of 10 to 15 mm. We did not detect clinically important differences in cosmetic outcome at 9 to 12 months in patients with facial lacerations closed with RG, OC, or NL, although RG or OC could be preferred to eliminate follow-up visits for suture removal.

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