Laceration Repair at Brentview Medical Clinic
The doctors at Brentview Medical Clinic are fully equipped to repair most skin lacerations. Laceration repair is done to mend a tear in the skin or other tissue. The procedure is similar to the process of repairing a tear in clothing. The four main goals of repairing a laceration are to stop the bleeding, prevent bacterial infection, preserve function, and restore the best possible cosmetic appearance.
Before repairing the laceration, the physician examines the wound and the underlying tendons or nerves to make sure that they have not been torn. If nerves or tendons have been injured, our physician will likely refer you to a surgeon to complete the repair. After the area is examined, the laceration is cleansed using a sterile wash. Removal of any foreign objects is also important since the site must be clear of anything foreign before repair takes place. After the sterile cleanse, a disinfecting agent may be may be applied to further prevent bacterial infection.
Once the wound has been cleansed, the laceration site is numbed by injecting a local anesthetic such as Lidocaine. Tissue that is badly damaged might need to be removed to prevent infection. If the laceration is deep, absorbable sutures are placed in the tissue under the skin to help bring the tissue layers together. Suturing further helps eliminate any areas below the skin where tissue fluid or blood can accumulate. The skin wound is most commonly closed with nylon sutures. Suture material used on the skin surface is usually non-absorbable and will be removed in around 7 to 10 days. A dressing and/or adhesive bandage is applied for 24-48 hours. In areas where a dressing is not possible, an antibiotic ointment is generally applied. If the laceration is due to a human or animal bite or if it is very dirty, or if the patient has a medical condition that prevents adequate wound healing, oral antibiotics pills are generally prescribed for 7 days after the laceration is repaired.
Lastly, if you have not had a tetanus vaccine in the past 7 years, your Brentview Medical physician will administer an intramuscular tetanus shot.