5 Things to Keep in Mind Regarding PGA Surgical Suture

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PGA (polyglycolic acid) is one of the most widely used synthetic absorbable suture materials for internal and external surgical wound closure. Made of purified polyesters that are broken down and eliminated by the body, pga surgical suture dissolve predictably leaving no foreign material behind. As a surgeon selecting the most appropriate suture to achieve optimal healing, it is crucial to be knowledgeable about the distinctive properties and functionality of PGA. Understanding how it performs enables surgeons to leverage its attributes to support the natural repair of tissues and promote healthy recovery for patients.

  • Absorption Rate

One of the most important characteristics of PGA sutures is their absorption rate in the body. PGA is designed to be absorbed and broken down over time as the body heals. The standard absorption time for PGA sutures is 4-6 weeks.  

During the first few weeks after surgery, as the PGA suture is still present, it maintains wound closure and allows new collagen formation. As it breaks down, it loses strength but does not cause any inflammatory reaction. By 4-6 weeks, it has typically been almost completely absorbed.

The absorption rate can vary slightly depending on the specific PGA product and the individual patient’s healing conditions. Factors like the location of the wound, level of activity, diet, and other medical conditions may impact absorption. Monitoring the healing process is important to ensure the suture fully absorbs as expected.

  • Knot Security

Another important characteristic of PGA sutures is their knot security. When tying surgical knots, PGA provides excellent initial knot security equal to or greater than other absorbable suture materials. The knots stay in place during the crucial first stage of healing. The knot security progressively declines over the course of four to six weeks as the suture material starts to degrade and lose strength.

  • Strength Declines With Time

As was said, during the course of the 4-6 week absorption period, the PGA suture material would gradually lose strength. This results from the polymer chains breaking down into smaller monomers. PGA sutures have a strong tensile strength that is comparable to other non-absorbable suture materials in the early post-operative period.

Strength gradually declines during the first one to two weeks. Although strength has greatly diminished by three to four weeks, it still supports the wound. According to strength testing, at two weeks and four weeks, respectively, PGA retains 50–70% and 30–50% of its initial tensile strength.

  • Minimal Proliferative Reaction

One benefit of PGA over other absorbable suture materials such as catgut and polydioxanone (PDS) is that it usually results in very little tissue inflammation. It does not emit any hazardous byproducts during its enzymatic breakdown, which could potentially cause irritation or a response.

  • Managing and Keeping in Stock

PGA sutures must be handled and stored carefully to guarantee that they keep their integrity and function as intended during surgery. PGA should be kept out of direct heat and sunlight, in a cold, dry environment, just like any other suture material. 

The polymer structure may be impacted or the absorption process accelerated by extreme temperatures, moisture, or damage to the packing. When PGA isn’t in use, it’s best to keep it in its original, sealed manufacturer’s container.


Surgeons can choose the optimum absorbable suture material for each treatment and wound type by being aware of the important characteristics of polyglycolic acid surgical sutures, such as absorption rate, knot security, strength decrease over time, and low inflammatory reaction. Maintaining appropriate handling and storage procedures also guarantees that PGA functions as planned.

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