Barbed suture for gastrointestinal closure: A randomized control trial

Sebastian V. Demyttenaere, Peter Nau, Matthew Henn, Catherine Beck, Jeffrey Zaruby, Michael Primavera, David Kirsch, Jeffrey Miller, James J. Liu, Andrew Bellizzi, W. Scott Melvin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


In an effort to make laparoscopic suturing more efficient, the V-Loc advanced wound closure device (Covidien, Mansfield, MA) has been produced. This device is a self-anchoring barbed suture that obviates the need for knot tying. The goal of this initial feasibility study was to investigate the use of the barbed suture in gastrointestinal enterotomy closure. A randomized study of 12 pigs comparing enterotomy closure with barbed versus a nonbarbed suture of similar tensile strength was performed. To this end, 25 mm enterotomies were made in the stomach (1 control, 1 treatment), jejunum (2 controls, 2 treatments), and descending colon (1 control, 1 treatment). Animals were killed at 3, 7, and 14 days postoperatively (4 each group) and their gastrointestinal tracts harvested; 6 of the 8 enterotomies from each pig underwent burst strength testing. The remaining 2 were fixed in formalin and sent for histological examination. All 12 pigs survived until they were killed without any major complications. Enterotomy closure with barbed suture revealed adhesion scores, burst strength pressures, and histology scores that were similar to those for the control. Jejunal closures resulted in 6 failures at 7 days (3 control, 3 barbed) and 4 failures at 14 days (2 control, 2 barbed). The barbed suture significantly reduced suturing time in the stomach, jejunum, and colon. The V-Loc wound closure device appears to offer comparable gastrointestinal closure to 3-0 Maxon while being significantly faster. Further studies with V-Loc are required to assess its use in laparoscopic surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-242
Number of pages6
JournalSurgical Innovation
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Adhesion
  • Barbed suture
  • Burst strength testing
  • Enterotomy
  • Gastrointestinal anastomosis
  • Laparoscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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