Barbed absorbable suture material is created by introducing unidirectional barbs that become lodged in tissue, creating multiple anchor points that distribute tension along the suture line. Barbed sutures may allow for quicker surgeries and fewer wound complications as they do not require knots for security at the end of a continuous suture line. This suture is common for human urinary, GI, and reconstructive surgeries and has been used extensively during laparoscopy, eliminating the need for intracorporeal knot tying.
This study compared barbed suture material with available absorbable suture material. Healthy small intestinal tissue from 4 euthanized dogs was used to make test constructs by anastomosis of 2 sections with the selected suture. Appositional techniques were used employing 2 simple continuous sutures; results for leakage and maximum intraluminal pressure were compared. Anastomoses closed with barbed glycomer 631 suture leaked at a higher intraluminal pressure than those closed conventionally. Barbed suture could cause greater tissue trauma, and as the barbed suture hole should be larger than the suture shaft, it may leak at a lower pressure than comparable nonbarbed sutures. However, leakage from suture holes was detected in each sample, suggesting barbs were no more traumatic than conventional suture. Barbed glycomer 631 (4-0) may be as effective as glycomer 631 (3-0 and 4-0) for use in intestinal anastomosis in dogs.

The 4-0 absorbable glycomer 631 (V-Loc, is barbed in such a manner to dismiss knot tying. In this study, the intestinal closure site leaked at 53 mm Hg for the barbed suture, whereas leakage was noted at 34 and 28 mm Hg for the 3-0 and 4-0 suture tied with knots, respectively. All groups had leakage through a suture hole. Here, the barbed, knotless suture provided a better seal than traditional suture. The barbs did not appear to cause more damage to the intestinal wall during passage, and the barbs held the anastomotic line secure under pressure. Use of this suture in laparoscopic procedures holds promise.—Jonathan Miller, DVM, MS, DACVS

Evaluation of a novel suture material for closure of intestinal anastomoses in canine cadavers. Hansen LA, Monnet EL. AM J VET RES 73:1819-1823, 2012.