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What is a Laceration?

The difference between a cut, deep cut and a laceration is not always very clear, but most medical providers consider a laceration a deep cut that often requires repair with suture material. Most injuries should be repaired in less than 24 hours from its occurrence. The objective of repairing a laceration with “stitches” is twofold: stop the bleeding and improve the cosmetic outcome. Many deep cuts wont stop bleeding on their own, and without a repair with sutures a cosmetic defect often is the result of poor healing.

Deep cuts are often beneath the superficial layers of skin, into the dermis, or even the subcutaneous tissues. The doctor will examine the injury and decide the best approach to help the wound heal properly and to stop the bleeding.

Soft-Tissue Injury and Wound Repair - Strange and Schafermeyer's Pediatric  Emergency Medicine, Fourth Edition (Strange, Pediatric Emergency Medicine),  4th Ed.

How are Deep Cuts fixed?

Deep cuts are repaired using suture material which is often made from nylon or another synthetic plastic derivative. They can be placed in single or multiple layers after the provider uses anesthesia like local Lidocaine or Bupivicaine. Depending upon the severity and location of the injury, the sutures are often removed in 7-10 days. The ones that are placed under the skin are dis-solvable ( d ) sutures and aren’t removed. This procedure is available in most Urgent Care Centers like Mountain Medical.

Skin Glue

Sometimes certain deep cuts can be fixed with sterile skin glue. This material should not be used on cuts that are deeper than the dermis, near or on the eye, covering long or large body surface, or crossing a joint. Skin glue is associated with an increase in wound dehiscence (breaking open), but can be very appropriate in wounds that simple, clean, and bear low stress. There are other criteria for skin glue that your provider will discuss with you during your appointment.

How to care for a wound that has been sutured?

  • Keep the wound clean
  • Avoid undue or excessive stress on the wound
  • Follow the doctor’s recommendations on suture removal
  • Regular bathing is usually acceptable after 24 hours
  • Antibiotic ointment can help the healing process
  • Always call you provider if you have questions or concerns
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