Evaluation of the Histologic Reactions to Commonly Used Suture Materials in Ball Pythons (Python regius)
Tissue reaction to suture materials has been studied in several non-domestic species,1-4 but only a single short-term study exists in reptiles.2 We evaluated the histologic reaction to eight different suture materials and cyanoacrylate tissue adhesive over a period of 90 days in 30 hatchling ball pythons. Ten incisions were made in each snake and sutures were placed in the muscle and skin using PDS, PDS Plus, Monocryl, Monocryl Plus, Vicryl, chromic gut, Ethilon, and stainless steel. One incision was closed using cyanoacrylate tissue adhesive, and the last incision was left to heal by second intention and act as a negative control. Snakes were euthanatized at 3, 7, 14, 30, 60, and 90 days following suture implantation, and histologic reaction to the suture was evaluated. All suture materials caused significantly more inflammation than the negative control. Cyanoacrylate tissue adhesive did not cause a significant tissue reaction compared to the negative control. All suture types were intact 90 days following implantation and caused a chronic inflammatory response and granuloma formation. In several samples the granulomas appeared to be contiguous with the skin and the suture appeared to be in the process of being extruded from the underlying tissues. Due to prolonged absorption compared to published data in mammals some suture may undergo extrusion prior to complete absorption.
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4. Tuttle A.D., J. Mc Law, C.A. Harms, G.A. Lewbart, and S. B. Harvey. 2006. Evaluation of the gross and histologic reactions to five commonly used suture materials in the skin of the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis). J Am Assoc Lab Anim Sci. 45:22–26.