A mortician uses various types of sutures for different purposes during the embalming process. The four commonly used sutures are purse-string sutures, worm sutures, basket-weave sutures, and baseball sutures.
Purse-string sutures are used to close the rectum, mouth, or other body orifices. They are called "purse-string" because they create a circular shape that can be tightened like the drawstring of a purse. This technique helps maintain the natural appearance of the body by preventing leakage and ensuring proper closure.
Worm sutures are used to repair and close incisions made during autopsy or embalming. Named for their resemblance to worms, these sutures are made by looping the thread through the tissue and tying it off. They provide strong closure and prevent the incision from reopening during the embalming process.
Basket-weave sutures are used primarily to close or repair wounds on the scalp or facial region. They involve weaving the thread in a crisscross pattern, resembling a basket weave. This technique helps ensure a secure closure, especially in areas where the skin may be less pliable or prone to tension.
Baseball sutures, also known as "baseball stitching", are commonly used for tissue approximation in large or irregular wounds. This technique involves making stitches that resemble the stitching on a baseball. It provides a strong hold and helps bring the edges of the wound together, promoting proper healing.
These different sutures serve specific purposes in the embalming process and allow morticians to achieve secure and aesthetically pleasing closures. Their selection depends on the location and type of wound or incision being stitched, ultimately aiding in preserving the natural appearance of the deceased individual.