Suture to wound length ratio in abdominal wall closure: how well are we doing?

Journal Article (Journal Article)

PURPOSE: Research has established that a ≥4:1 suture to wound (S:W) length ratio decreases incisional hernias. We evaluated our ability to obtain a 4:1 S:W length ratio in a surgery residency program. METHODS: Consecutive abdominal wall closures from 12/1/2013 through 4/9/2015 were reviewed. The length of the incisions and amount of suture used were measured. Patient demographics and operative variables were documented and compared related to inability to obtain a 4:1 ratio. RESULTS: One hundred patients underwent abdominal closure with S:W length measurements. Average wound length was 18.3 cm; average suture length used was 84.5 cm; and average S:W length ratio was 4.6:1. An S:W length ratio of ≥4:1 was achieved in 76% of cases. There was no difference in race, age, gender, BMI, type of procedure, or resident level in obtaining a 4:1 S:W length ratio. There was a significantly higher rate of not achieving a 4:1 ratio when two residents closed. Postoperative infection rate and hernia rate increased when a 4:1 S:W length ratio was not achieved compared with an adequate S:W length ratio. CONCLUSIONS: Despite the known importance of achieving a 4:1 S:W length ratio for abdominal closure, it was only achieved in 76% of study patients. Improved education on the importance of fascial closure is needed.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Williams, ZF; Tenzel, P; Hooks, WB; Hope, WW

Published Date

  • December 2017

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 21 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 869 - 872

PubMed ID

  • 28942543

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1248-9204

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s10029-017-1667-y


  • eng

Conference Location

  • France