Non-absorbable veterinary sutures are used in areas that allow easy removal after healing. For this reason, they are used in wound closure or when long-term resistance to suture is required, for specific orthopedic procedures, to apply in tissues under high tension or that is expected to heal very slowly. In summary, Non-absorbable veterinary sutures will retain a significant amount of tensile strength for more than 60 days after implantation.
Despite being classified as non-absorbable, some materials, such as silk, can still be reabsorbed and lose force over time.
Non-absorbable veterinary sutures exist in natural forms, for example, silk is a non-absorbable natural material. It is recognized for its good handling characteristics, but it causes a marked tissue reaction after implantation. Silk loses its tensile strength after 6 months and is finally absorbed (especially in cats) for several years. Due to its braided structure, silk can promote bacterial infections.
Synthetic suture materials include polypropylene, poliglecaprone, nylon, etc. These suture materials have high tensile strength and tend to induce a minimal tissue reaction.
The stainless steel suture was the most widely used metallic suture. It was mainly used due to its high tensile strength, excellent knot security, and reduced tissue reaction. However, stainless steel is difficult to handle, requires minimal handling to avoid bending and breaking, and can cut tissue. It is rarely used in modern surgery.