Suturing is an essential part of any clinical practice, no matter what kinds of medical education you are pursuing or whether you want to become a medical doctor, veterinarian, or nurse. Mastering basic suturing techniques is necessary for all medical professionals. Nothing compares to real skin when it comes to suturing, but you can’t just jump right into practicing on humans. Because of this, a suture practice kit is an ideal option for a medical student to practice suturing.
Before practice suture kits appear on the market, medical students’ only choice is tissue from animals like chicken breast and pig feet. However, that’s quite an expensive way to sharpen your suturing skills and nowhere convenient. Things are less appealing, considering that meat is perishable and only lasts for a short time and a few practice sessions. A silicone practice pad, however, is design to withstand multiple practice sessions. Besides, when it comes to cost per training session, a practice suture kit costs only a fraction of what meat costs. Its long-lasting design enables you to start over whenever you made a mistake. The affordable price alleviates the stress of cost peruse and helps you horn your suturing skills in a more focused way.
What’s inside a suture practice kit?
Durable Silicone Pad
Suture practice pads simulate the anatomical structure of human tissue with three layers, namely lacerated skin layer, fat layer, and muscle layer, to provide the best human skin and flesh feeling. It seems that most brands on the market have similar silicone pads in the suture training kit, but upon detailed testings from our lab, we found that there are two types of silicone pads available. One model feels a bit hard and looks smooth on the surface; the other type is softer, and the texture feels more like skin.
To prevent ripping the silicone material and thus enhance durability. Most of the suture practice pads are horizontal mesh enhanced, meaning manufacturers insert a vertical mesh layer between the skin and the fat layer. More advanced models have gone further to improve the pad with vertical mesh to aid the practice of deep suturing techniques.
There are five essential tools for you to get the practice started, namely scalpel handle, needle holder, iris scissors, Adson forceps, and mosquito forceps. These tools are standard equipment you can find from surgical suture kits. Suturing instruments come with a practice suture kits are made from stainless steel, but they might not as durable as surgical-grade tools given the price at which they are selling.
Suture Threads with Needle
Modern sutures are prepackaged with needles attached and are ready to use right out of the packages. Different Sutures threads consist of various materials like silk, Nylon, Polyester, and Polypropylene, etc. and needles attached to them are of different sizes ranging from 2/0 to 7/0, among which 2/0 to 4/0 are popular sizes for basic training. These variations are necessary because some wounds require different suture threads and needle sizes. For a detailed explanation of sutures thread with needles, check out my recent post Sutures Thread with Needle.
An all-in-one case that holds everything in one place is ideal for you to carry around. However, you might get along with models only to keep suture tools if you put away the silicone pad, sutures threads, and scalpel blades carefully. Some vendors offer zipper bags to hold everything. We suggest you be cautious when using these bags because the scalpel blades and needles are sharp objects that made it easy to harm you when not putting in a hard case.
Price and recommendation
Critical factors of prices for a practice suture kit include the number of suture threads, quality of suture practice pad, and quality of then suture case.
At sub $30 range, you can only get a couple of suture threads, and the practice pad might not be as durable since the vendors might omit mesh structure to cut costs. You might also be missing a suture case to carry all the materials.
At $30-$35 range, you can get abundant suture thread to practice, and the silicone pads are of better quality with a more robust mesh structure and anti-slip bottom for superior practice and storage experience. The case comes with the kit is capable of putting everything in it and have inner pockets to separate suture threads, tools, and the suture practice pad. At this price range, we recommend products from Medi Architect.
At $35 and above, you will be able to get most of your bang for the buck and have THE BEST learning experience through a complete set of suture thread selections, step-by-step video tutorials, and ebook study guides. At this price range, we recommend Pinnacle Medics and Medical Creations.
Hand Book: Surgical Knots and Suturing Techniques
This handbook will assist those studying to become a veterinarian, physician, nurse practitioner, physician’s assistant, emergency medical technician, midwife, podiatrist, research specialist, or food animal producer. Equally important, the book has information for the outdoor enthusiasts or those simply wanting to learn the skills of surgical knot tying. Information about cleaning, sterilization, and preparing a surgical field for closing acute wounds and incisions are included.
Sutures thread with needles
To sharpen your suturing skills into the next level, you might need a lot of practice, so an extra box of suture thread comes in handy when the sutures from your practice kit run out. We recommend this suture thread variety pack because it comes with four different suture types, three distinct needle sizes to help you replenish your suture practice arsenal. We suggest Pinnacle Medics and Matrix Wizard for their quality and price.
Skin stapler is very common in some operating rooms. In neurosurgery, doctors would occasionally use a stapler to close up a sizable spinal surgery along the lumbar spine. The most important reason why many clinicians like to use a stapler is that it’s fast and pretty simple. We recommend this skin stapler for its abundant preloaded wires as well as the sturdy stapler remover tool. It’s an excellent add-on to your suture practice kit for emergency practice. You might want to try the top-selling Disposable Skin Stapler and Remover Kit on Amazon.
However, you have to keep in mind that a stapler is going to cause more scars. Therefore, suturing is preferred if there is any cosmetic reason that you want to minimize the scar formation of the laceration as it heals, for example, on body parts like face, neck, hands, or arms that are noticeable.