Histologic and ultrastructural evaluation of sutures used for surgical fixation of the SMAS

Richard John Huggins, Mark P Freeman, Jeffrey Bryce Kerr, Bryan C Mendelson

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9 Citations (Scopus)


In extensive SMAS face-lift surgery, retaining ligaments are released, and the SMAS is resutured to the deep fascia to maintain the advanced position. The suture used to reattach the SMAS should replicate the quality of support provided by the original ligaments. Nonabsorbable sutures (monofilament and braided) retrieved intraoperatively from 22 patients undergoing secondary face-lift procedures were examined by light microscopy and transmission electronmicroscopy. A distinctive enclosure of dense collagen and elastin formed around both types of suture. Based on the presence of inflammatory cells, fibroblasts, collagen, and elastin, the tissue reaction to monofilament suture was less than with the braided suture. The collagen and elastin were thicker around the braided suture, and, additionally the collagen matrix infiltrated between the individual filaments. Ultrastructural analysis of the braided suture showed significant collagen binding around each individual filament. The greater quantity of connective tissue around the thread which continued into the interstices of the braided suture has the characteristics of a ligament. This suggests a stronger and more lasting tissue fixation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)719 - 724
Number of pages5
JournalAesthetic Plastic Surgery
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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