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Suturing Practice

Discussion in 'Surgery and Surgical Subspecialties' started by robotsonic, Oct 25, 2005.

  1. robotsonic

    robotsonic Senior Member 5+ Year Member

    Oct 10, 2005
    I'm applying for surgery residency. I know how to practice ties, but is there a good way to practice suturing, without cutting open loved ones "accidentally" and then repairing them? Of course I have had some practice in the OR, but I always feel clumsy and wish that I could practice so that I don't look like a schmuck during the times when I actually do get to suture.
    Some friends of mine used the pigs' feet method... I'm not sure how well that worked. Just wondering what others have tried and if it actually helped when suturing with humans. Thanks.
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  3. Latex glove works well too.
  4. Pir8DeacDoc

    Pir8DeacDoc Cerumen Extractor 10+ Year Member

    Mar 27, 2004
    Do a plastics rotation if you can. Nothing can really replace suturing on a patient. Big cases like panniculectomies and abdominoplasties, breast reductions, etc will allow ample suturing practice. I struggled mightly when I first began to do a decent deep dermal stitch but after a month at a busy plastics program I feel like I can get that done reasonably well. There is no replacement for practice.
  5. njbmd

    njbmd Guest Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    May 30, 2001
    Gone Walkabout!
    Hi there,
    See if you can get some opened but unused suturing materials from the OR nurses and suture chicken breasts. I also sutured pigs feet and grapes too. If you can fine suture a grape, grafts are a snap.

  6. SocialistMD

    SocialistMD Resident Objectivist 10+ Year Member

    Jan 29, 2001
    I sew pretty much whatever I can find. If I'm sitting at a table and have tape, I'll loop a bit of tape on the table and suture it to itself. Banana peels or my scrubs work well at home. I use graph paper to work on consistant sizes with my bites. I've found it doesn't have to simulate tissue to work on proper technique. The point is to get the right motion down in different circumstances (i.e. deep suturing vs. superficial).
  7. robotsonic

    robotsonic Senior Member 5+ Year Member

    Oct 10, 2005
    Thanks for the advice!
    And socialistMD, you answered my other question, which is whether what you are sewing has to simulate tissue. I'm hesitant to rush out and buy pigs' feet and chicken breasts as I am vegetarian :)
  8. surg

    surg 10+ Year Member

    Dec 16, 2001
  9. JobsFan

    JobsFan 10+ Year Member

    Jan 19, 2005
    dude - nobody said you have to eat them when you're done! :laugh:
  10. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic! Staff Member Chief Administrator Administrator Physician Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 15+ Year Member

    Apr 9, 2000
    hSDN Member
    Bananas work well (and you can eat them afterwards provided your tools are clean). :)
  11. tripod

    tripod Member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 17, 2002
    I'm pretty hardcore but this is the best way to practice. Sit down on a chair and take some 1% lidocaine and inject it into your thigh. Then take a #15 blade (or a #10...11 goes too deep) and make a 6cm incision longitudinally, preferrably more to the lateral aspect (avoids the vessels if you get too overzealous and start sticthing too deep), then take some vicryls and practice your deep dermals and close it up with a nice subcuticular with 4-0s. It works great. It's the closest thing to a real patient's skin you can get. Plus you're really motivated to try your best because chicks don't dig nasty looking scars. you gotta make em look cool

    All your pu$$ies out there may think this is to hardcore but hey, it's just the way I roll, yo.
    sally23 likes this.
  12. ExtraCrispy

    ExtraCrispy Funky chicken 7+ Year Member

    Aug 3, 2005
    Rockin the henhouse

    :thumbup: This is great!! :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
  13. njbmd

    njbmd Guest Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    May 30, 2001
    Gone Walkabout!
    Hey there,
    I tried this on my last night of call in the SICU. It sure kept me awake and the nurses were intrigued. :D :D Oh, make sure that you keep the sharp edge of the #15 pointed away from you and cut away from yourself. ;)
    nbjmd :laugh:
  14. Tenesma

    Tenesma Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Jun 11, 2002
    go to a local urgent care center - if they let you, you can sew all day and all night... (nothing but lacs...)
  15. DrRonin

    DrRonin New Member

    Nov 1, 2005
    Over the last couple of summers, I spent vacations working with a CT surgeon. He taught me to practice suturing on roasted turkey breast you get from the deli - 0.5 inches thick sliced.

    He said if you practice suturing and tying down knots *gently* without pulling through the turkey and shreding it up you'll do fine in the OR. Also, it's easier to learn to be gentle first then be more aggressive when needed - rather than learning to be gentle later on. This really seemed to work and *feels* more like real subq suturing to me.

    All the best-

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