General Surgery

Fixing suture issues

Broken suture, broken off needle, dysfunctional needle

  • Remove the needle.
  • Start a new strand near where you were working; tie a knot and secure
  • Tighten up sutures associated with the broken strand
  • Tie the new strand to the broken strand
  • Trim the short ends and continue suturing

Watch on youtube


Loose suture line

  • Tie a knot with a new strand in the middle of the loose bit
  • Tighten up the original suture line so you have a loose loop in the middle (the rest should be tight)
  • Tie the loop to the new strand.
  • Trim all suture ends and pretend it was that way all along.


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Large Animal Surgery - Supplemental Notes by Erin Malone, DVM, PhD; Elaine Norton, DVM PhD; Erica Dobbs, DVM; and Ashley Ezzo, DVM is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.