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Katlyn Carter

6.3 Stitch Theory

Stitch Theory Outline

Basic Principles

 Place all stitches 1 cm apart (unless otherwise noted)

 For most tissue, create stitches no more than 1.25 to 1.5 cm deep
 The edges of the tear should lie flat
 Place needle tip at right angles to the wound
 Tighten each stitch so that it rests on the surface of the tissue with edges touching

Stitch Type Description Application Benefit Limitation Image

Interrupted Single loop Used to Simple Each stitch
that enters draw wound Best if only requires a
the tissue to together 1 stitch is knot
Used for
one side of needed resulting in a
the wound labial tears, If multiple bulkier
and exits ligate torn are used and repair. More
directly blood one comes irritation.
across vessels. undone, Weaker due
Draws the Used to others will to many
wound form an usually hold. knots.
anchor stitch
together, Useful when One missing
leaving the
tied with needle end there is a stitch may
square knot, long. chance of create a
ears cut Can be an sewing into pocket and
short internal the bowel or invite
suture UT. infection
Easiest type
of stitch to
place too
Continuous/running/ Created Most Quick to Not advised
Basting using a commonly place. if there is
single strand used in Less likely risk of a
of suture to perineal to be pulled hematoma,
form a spiral repair. too tight. pronounced
of suture by Used to More varicosities.
inserting close vaginal watertight Slightly
several mucosu, everts
sutures of labia, and wound edges
the same periurethral (make it
type area, subq loose).
Anchor layer in the
stitch perineal
Katlyn Carter
6.3 Stitch Theory
body, rectal

Locked blanket Basically, a Primarily Provides Results in

running used to more more tissue
stitch with a secure the hemostatis eversion
lock. vaginal than a than a
Place an mucosa simple simple
anchor when the basting running
stitch, bring wound is stitch. stitch.
your needle seeping Lock helps
out inside a more blood maintain
loop. than usual. tension
while the
next stitch is
Running Mattress “Invisible Typically, More Can be more
zipper” used to close comfortable difficult to
Usually the skin (less place
continuous layer of the external
with a perineum. sutures)
previously Avoids
placed row directly
of stitches inserting the
needle into
the more
Figure 8 Basically, a Can be used Assists in Can be more
horizontal when you gathering difficult to
mattress- need to and ligating place
style that is place an bleeding
crossed in extra secure tissue.
the center. stitch or one
Be sure the that provides
distance increased
from each hemostasis.
edge and the Can be
depth of placed as a
both bites vertical or
are equal all horizontal 8
Katlyn Carter
6.3 Stitch Theory
Photo Credit (all):

Katlyn Carter


Frye, A. (2010). Healing passage: a midwife's guide to the care and repair of the tissues involved in birth.
Labrys Press.