Background: This study aimed to compare the burst strength of suture closure versus the use of suture and strip together.
Methods: On cadavers, 50 skin incisions were closed as follows: group 1--subcuticular continuous suture; group 2--same suturing with placement of strips; group 3--same as group 2 except gum mastic was applied prior to strips; group 4--strips alone; and group 5--strips with gum mastic application. The separation forces were measured using a tensilometer.
Results: The mean separation forces were as follows: group 1, 14.17 kg; group 2, 14.37 kg; group 3, 15.39 kg; group 4, 1.52 kg; and group 5, 3.85 kg. There were no statistically significant differences between groups 1, 2, and 3. When compared with group 4, group 5 required markedly more force to separate the wound.
Conclusions: Strip reinforcement with/without gum mastic did not provide any additional strength when sutures were used. Gum mastic increased the adherence of strips and this was important when strips were the only means of wound closure.