Subcuticular Sutures Versus Staples for Wound Closure in Open Liver Resection: A Randomised Clinical Trial

Yoritaka Matsuno, Shintaro Yamazaki, Yusuke Mitsuka, Hayato Abe, Masamichi Moriguchi, Tokio Higaki, Tadatoshi Takayama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Subcuticular sutures reduce wound complication rates only in clean surgeries. Repeat resection is frequently required in liver surgery, due to the high recurrence rate (30–50%) of liver cancers. The aim of this study is to assess that subcuticular sutures is superior to staples in liver surgery. Methods: This single-centre, single-blinded, randomised controlled trial was conducted at a university hospital between January 2015 and October 2018. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive either subcuticular sutures or staples for skin closure. Three risk factors (repeat resection, diabetes mellitus and liver function) were matched preoperatively for equal allocation. The primary endpoint was the wound complication rate, while secondary endpoints were surgical site infection (SSI), duration of postoperative hospitalisation and total medical cost. Subset analyses were performed only for the 3 factors allocated as secondary endpoints. Results: Of the 581 enrolled patients, 281 patients with subcuticular sutures and 283 patients with staples were analysed. As the primary outcome, the wound complication rate with subcuticular sutures (12.5%) did not differ from that with staples [15.9%; odds ratio (OR), 1.33; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.83–2.15; p = 0.241]. As secondary outcomes, no significant differences were identified between the two procedures in the overall cohort while overall wound complications [7 patients (8.5%) vs. 17 patients (20.0%); OR, 2.68; 95% CI, 1.08–7.29; p = 0.035] with repeat incision were significantly less frequent with subcuticular sutures. Conclusion: Subcuticular sutures were not shown to reduce wound complications compared to staples in open liver resection, but appear beneficial for repeat incisions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)571-580
Number of pages10
JournalWorld Journal of Surgery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


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