Superiority of a Silk Surgical Site Wound Closure Device Over Synthetic Dressings

Plast Reconstr Surg. 2024 Feb 7. doi: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000011316. Online ahead of print.


Background: Silk fibroin is an emerging biomaterial with enhanced properties of cellular regeneration, growth and proliferation. The use of a silk fibroin wound dressing has the potential to decrease the incidence of wound healing complications and to improve patient outcomes compared to synthetic dressing alternatives.

Methods: A prospective, randomized, single-blinded clinical trial was conducted on 50 patients who were dressed with a silk fibroin dressing on one side of their body and on the contralateral side with 3M Steri-Strips® after undergoing abdominoplasty, reduction mammaplasty, or brachioplasty procedures. Data was collected over 5 postoperative visits using photographs and an investigator administered questionnaire to monitor erythema, skin irritation, skin discomfort, the need for pharmaceutical intervention, wound dehiscence and mechanical skin injury. A comprehensive 75 patient statistical analysis was conducted combining the results with a previously published study comparing Dermabond® Prineo® to the silk dressing.

Results: 20.8% (10/48) of patients were assessed by surgeons as having skin erythema (7-10) on the Steri-Strip® control side and 0% (0/48) on the silk dressing side (p=0.002). The frequency of breast triple point separation in 43 cases was 30.2% (13/43) on the Steri-Strip® side and 9.3% (4/43) on the silk side (p=0.012). 75% (36/48) of patients had partial or total detachment of Steri-Strips® while 0% (0/48) had total detachment of the silk dressing and 18.8% (9/48) had partial detachment of the silk dressing within the first two weeks (p<0.001).

Conclusion: A silk fibroin wound dressing significantly reduces the incidence of wound healing complications throughout the postoperative period.Clinical Relevance Statement: The adoption of a silk fibroin wound dressing into clinical practice has the potential to improve patient outcomes, decrease medical adhesive related skin injuries and reduce the rate of wound healing complications.