Dermal suture only versus layered closure: A randomized, split wound comparative effectiveness trial

Jayne S. Joo, Anne R. Zhuang, Catherine Tchanque-Fossuo, Danielle Tartar, April W Armstrong, Tom H. King, Raja K. Sivamani, Daniel B. Eisen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Layered closure of cutaneous wounds is a commonly used surgical practice. However, there are studies that suggest the additional layer of epidermal sutures might not be necessary. Objective: To compare scar outcomes between the single-layer deep-dermal suture technique and the conventional layered suture technique for primary closure of cutaneous wounds. Methods: A total of 49 patients were enrolled in a prospective, randomized, evaluator-blinded, split scar study to compare the conventional bilayered closure technique with the single-layer deep-dermal suturing technique for primary closure of wounds. The primary outcome measure was mean sum Patient and Observer Scar Assessment Scale (POSAS) score at 3 and 12 months. Results: At the 3-month follow-up, there was a statistically significant difference in the mean total POSAS scores for both the blinded observer and patients, indicating a preference for the side with the standard layered closure. However, at the 12-month follow-up, this difference was lost, with the exception of scar color, which was significantly more noticeable on the wound side closed with only dermal sutures. Limitation: Single-center study. Conclusion: Three months after surgery, the layered closure technique resulted in a slightly better scar outcome than the single-layered closure containing only dermal sutures. At 12-months' follow-up, this difference diminished, with scars for both sides appearing similar.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019


  • scar
  • skin surgery
  • suture technique
  • wound closure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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