Cosmetic outcome and surgical site infection rates of antibacterial absorbable (Polyglactin 910) suture compared to Chinese silk suture in breast cancer surgery: a randomized pilot research

Chin Med J (Engl). 2011 Mar;124(5):719-24.


Background: The primary objective of this multicenter post-market study was to compare the cosmetic outcome of triclosan-coated VICRYL Plus sutures with Chinese silk sutures for skin closure of modified radical mastectomy. A secondary objective was to assess the incidence of surgical site infection (SSI).

Methods: Patients undergoing modified radical mastectomy were randomly assigned to coated VICRYL Plus antibacterial (Polyglactin 910) suture or Chinese silk suture. Cosmetic outcomes were evaluated postoperatively at days 12 (± 2) and 30 (± 5), and the evidence of SSI was assessed at days 3, 5, 7, 12 (± 2), 30 (± 5), and 90 (± 7). Cosmetic outcomes were independently assessed via visual analogue scale (VAS) score evaluations of blinded incision photographs (primary endpoint) and surgeon-assessed modified Hollander Scale (mHCS) scores (secondary endpoint). SSI assessments used both CDC criteria and ASEPSIS scores.

Results: Six Chinese hospitals randomized 101 women undergoing modified radical mastectomy to closure with coated VICRYL Plus suture (n = 51) or Chinese silk suture (n = 50). Mean VAS cosmetic outcome scores for antibacterial suture (67.2) were better than for Chinese silk (45.4) at day 30 (P < 0.0001)). Mean mHCS cosmetic outcome total scores, were also higher for antibacterial suture (5.7) than for Chinese silk (5.0) at day 30 (P = 0.002).

Conclusions: Patients using coated VICRYL Plus suture had significantly better cosmetic outcomes than those with Chinese silk sutures. Patients using coated VICRYL Plus suture had a lower SSI incidence compared to the Chinese silk sutures, although the difference did not reach statistical significance.

Trial registration: NCT00768222.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Breast Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mastectomy / adverse effects
  • Polyglactin 910 / therapeutic use*
  • Silk / therapeutic use*
  • Surgical Wound Infection / microbiology*
  • Sutures*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Silk
  • Polyglactin 910

Associated data