Local News

Super Skin Glue Offers Solution to Stitches

Posted January 27, 1999

— It's fast, makes your scar look better, and it doesn't hurt a bit. A surgical glue made by a Raleigh company is the new way to close a cut instead of using stitches. You could say it is an idea that is likely to stick around into the future.

Instead of reaching for a needle and thread to sew up a cut, doctors are grabbing for glue. It's calledDermabond.

"It closes lacerations, it closes incisions and it's accomplished without pain and anxiety," says Bob Toni, president and CEO of Closure Medical.

Within 30 seconds, the glue sets in place. That's enough time for the surgeon to maneuver the skin into position and for the glue to form a strong, waterproof seal. The sealed wound doesn't even need a bandage.

"Within about two and a half minutes this wound has the strength of a wound that was sutured and had been healing for seven days," says Toni.

Quite an advancement for a technique which hasn't seen much change over the years.

"Four thousand years ago, the Egyptians started using needle and thread. Back in the early 70s, a company called U.S Surgical introduced staples, and now Closure Medical is introducing what we call 'tissue adhesives' for wound closure," explains Toni.

Closure Medical makes Dermabond in a lab in Raleigh. The glue is shipped all over the world.

TheFood and Drug Administrationgaveits approvallast August and studies have shown people especially like the cosmetic results.

"There's a scar. What you do not have is those needle puncture holes when the wound is closed," says Toni.

The glue naturally sloughs off in 10 days and can be used anywhere on your body except in your eyes and mouth. But experiments going on in a Closure lab are working to change that.

"I think eventually and once again I don't know if that's 15, 20, 25 years, glue will probably be used in most parts of the body," Toni says.

Closure Medical also has a glue that works in the brain, on the eye, and another that you can use like a Band-Aid.

A new product, called Soothe N' Seal, is for canker sores in the mouth. A study shows the sores heal three times faster than if left alone.

Doctors say a key benefit of the Dermabond glue will be in emergency rooms for use on children since it doesn't hurt and works so quickly.

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