© 2014 The Authors http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
An interrupted stitch type with favorable tissue characteristics will reduce local wound complications. We describe a novel high-strength, low-tension repair for the interrupted closure of skin, cartilage, and muscle, the double loop mattress stitch, and compare it experimentally with other interrupted closure methods. The performance of the double loop mattress technique in porcine cartilage and skeletal muscle is compared with the simple, mattress, and loop mattress interrupted sutures in both a novel porcine loading chamber and mechanical model. Wound apposition is assessed by electron microscopy. The performance of the double loop mattress in vivo was confirmed using a series of 805 pediatric laparotomies/laparoscopies. The double loop mattress suture is 3.5 times stronger than the loop mattress in muscle and 1.6 times stronger in cartilage (p?=?0.001). Additionally, the double loop mattress reduces tissue tension by 66% compared with just 53% for the loop mattress (p?=?0.001). Wound gapping is equal, and wound eversion appears significantly improved (p?=?0.001) compared with the loop mattress in vitro. In vivo, the double loop mattress performs as well as the loop mattress and significantly better than the mattress stitch in assessments of wound eversion and dehiscence. There were no episodes of stitch extrusion in our series of patients. The mechanical advantage of its intrinsic pulley arrangement gives the double loop mattress its favorable properties. Wound dehiscence is reduced because this stitch type is stronger and exerts less tension on the tissue than the mattress stitch. We advocate the use of this novel stitch wherever a high-strength, low-tension repair is required. These properties will enhance wound repair, and its application will be useful to surgeons of all disciplines.