Aesthetic outcome of simple cuticular suture distance from the wound edge on the closure of linear wounds on the head and neck: A randomized evaluator blinded split-wound comparative effect trial

Allison Weinkle, Alexis Harrington, Alison Kang, April W Armstrong, Daniel B. Eisen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Little data support the optimal distance of cuticular suture placement from the wound edge to achieve the most cosmetically appealing scar. Objective: To compare Patient and Observer Scar Assessment Scale (POSAS) scores for cutaneous sutures spaced 2 mm versus 5 mm from the wound edge in head and neck defects repaired via linear closure. Methods: Fifty patients were enrolled in this randomized, evaluator blinded, split-scar study. Surgical wounds were repaired with cuticular sutures 2 mm from the wound edge on one side and 5 mm on the other. POSAS scores and scar width were compared 3 months postoperatively. Results: The sum observer POSAS score for this study had a mean (SD) of 16.06 (6.49) on the 2-mm side and 15.82 (6.83) on the 5-mm side (P =.807). Similarly, no difference was seen between scar width with a mean (SD) of 0.100 cm (0.058 cm) on the 2-mm side and with mean (SD) 0.100 cm (0.076 cm) on the 5-mm side (P =.967). Limitations: Linear repairs were studied on head and neck defects after extirpation of cutaneous malignancies, resulting in a homogeneous elderly white patient population. Conclusion: Cuticular sutures placed 2 or 5 mm from the wound edge did not result in different cosmetic outcomes in linear closures on the head and neck.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • POSAS
  • scar width
  • suture distance
  • trace-to-tape
  • wound cosmesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology

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