A suture is a stitch or row of stitches holding together the edges of a wound or surgical incision.

In the case of deeper cuts, for example, a cut on the back of the thigh, an inch deep and long from knee to heel, does a suture only bring together skin or does it also go through muscle?

  • This question is vague - it really depends on the type of "sutures" you're talking about. Sounds like you're talking about skin sutures - but there are a lot of other places we (surgeons) put sutures. Nov 25, 2015 at 14:40

1 Answer 1


Thanks to Vance-L-Albaugh for clarifications.

For deep cuts, sutures bind the subcutaneous tissue to allow it to heal properly. Since muscle lies beneath the subcutaneous tissue, it seems that sutures do NOT include muscle for lacerations.

However, if you want to generalize to any suture, then the first two articles below demonstrate instances where muscle might be sutured. The two links are tests of comparison between different types of methods and techniques in suturing on muscle.

specific muscle case:

General suturing info:

  • 2
    subcutaneous sutures DO NOT go through any muscle - they go through the subcutaneous tissue only - muscle is much deeper Nov 25, 2015 at 14:40
  • @VanceLAlbaugh I think panniculus carnosus is part of the subcutaneous tissue according to britannica.com/science/panniculus-carnosus and en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panniculus_carnosus. Please let me know if these sources are incorrect or if I have misunderstood something.
    – Dave Liu
    Nov 25, 2015 at 22:19
  • 2
    that's something that exists in other mammals and is not developed in humans - these are muscles that make hair stand up. We intentionally do not include muscle when we suture people up because muscle doesn't have any strength and the sutures would pull right through the muscle. When we suture people up with stick with the fascia and the connective tissue - that is where the strength of the tissue is. Nov 25, 2015 at 22:24
  • 1
    nice correction - I like your last source "General suturing info" Nov 25, 2015 at 22:28
  • Let us continue this discussion in chat. Nov 25, 2015 at 22:33

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