Ann Dermatol.  2023 Apr;35(2):100-106. 10.5021/ad.21.263.

Various Applications of Purse-String Suture and Its Cosmetic Outcome in Cutaneous Surgical Defects

  • 1Department of Dermatology, Severance Hospital, Cutaneous Biology Research Institute, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Department of Dermatology, Yongin Severance Hospital, Yongin, Korea
  • 3Department of Dermatology, Yonsei University Wonju College of Medicine, Wonju, Korea
  • 4Department of Dermatology, Gangnam Severance Hospital, Cutaneous Biology Research Institute, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea


Purse-string suture is a simple technique to reduce wound size and to achieve complete or partial closure of skin defects.
To classify situations in which purse-string sutures can be utilized and to assess the long-term size reduction and cosmetic outcome of the final scar.
Patients (93 from Severance hospital and 12 from Gangnam Severance hospital) in whom purse-string sutures were used between January 2015 and December 2019 were retrospectively reviewed. Wound site, final reconstruction method, repair duration, final wound size, and Vancouver scar scale were assessed.
A total of 105 patients were reviewed. Lesions were located on the trunk (48 [45.7%]), limbs (32 [30.5%]), and face (25 [23.8%]). Mean ratio of wound length/primary defect length was 0.79±0.30. Multilayered purse-string suture showed the shortest duration from excision to final repair (p<0.001) and most effectively minimized the scar size (scar to defect size ratio 0.67±0.23, p=0.002). The average Vancouver scar scale measured at the latest followup visit at least 6 months postoperatively was 1.62, and the risk of hypertrophic scarring was 8.6%. There was no significant difference in the Vancouver scar scale and the risk of hypertrophic scarring between the different surgical method groups.
Purse-string sutures can be utilized in many stages of reconstruction to effectively reduce scar size without compromising the final cosmetic outcome.


Dermatologic surgical procedures; Mohs surgery; Wound closure techniques
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