Tissue adhesive, adhesive tape, and sutures for skin closure of paediatric surgical wounds: prospective randomized clinical trial

Sarthak Tandon, Nicholas D. Ensor, Maurizio Pacilli, Ashleigh J. Laird, Juan I. Bortagaray, Robert J. Stunden, Ramesh M. Nataraja

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


BACKGROUND: Tissue adhesive, adhesive tape, and sutures are used to close surgical incisions. However, it is unclear which produces the best results in children, and whether combination wound closure is better than sutures alone. METHODS: In this parallel randomised controlled trial (ANZCTR: ACTRN12617000158369), children (aged 18 years or less) undergoing elective general surgical or urological procedures were randomized to skin closure with sutures alone, sutures and adhesive tape, or sutures and tissue adhesive. Participants were assessed 2 weeks, 6 weeks, and more than 6 months after operation. Outcomes included wound cosmesis (clinician- and parent-rated) assessed using four validated scales, parental satisfaction, and wound complication rates. RESULTS: 295 patients (333 wounds) were recruited and 277 patients (314 wounds) were included in the analysis. Tissue adhesive wounds had poorer cosmesis at 6 weeks: median 10-point VAS score 7.7 with sutures alone, 7.5 with adhesive tape, and 7.0 with tissue adhesive (P = 0.014). Respective median scores on a 100-point VAS were 80.0, 77.2, and 73.8 (P = 0.010). This difference was not sustained at over 6 months. There was no difference in parent-rated wound cosmesis at 6 weeks (P = 0.690) and more than 6 months (P = 0.167): median score 9.0 with sutures alone, 10.0 with adhesive tape, and 10.0 with tissue adhesive at both stages. Parental satisfaction was similar at all points, with a median score of 5 (very satisfied) for all groups. There was one instance of wound dehiscence in the tissue adhesive group and no wound infections. CONCLUSION: Short-term wound cosmesis was poorer with tissue adhesive although it is unclear whether this difference is sustained in the long-term. There were no differences between techniques for the study outcomes. REGISTRATION NUMBER: ACTRN12617000158369 (ANZCTR) (https://anzctr.org.au/Trial/Registration/TrialReview.aspx?id=372177&isReview=true).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1087-1095
Number of pages9
JournalBritish Journal of Surgery
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022

Cite this