Project/blog link:Sliced and Sutured BASIS Advisor: Amy Anderson Internship location: Banner Thunderbird Medical Center Onsite Mentor: Sundeep Patel, MD, Cardiothoracic Surgeon
Cardiac surgeries are high-risk procedures, and can come with numerous postoperative complications. Delayed sternal closure (DSC), essentially leaving the chest open for some time after cardiac surgery, may be necessary if compression due to sternal closure cannot be tolerated, or if the patient is experiencing hemodynamic instability (compromised blood flow). However, using the wrong type of suture in this case introduces risks such as sepsis, bleeding, and an array of additional problems. This project investigates three cardiac sutures as potential causes of infection in DSC patients. Observing cardiothoracic surgeries that DSC patients undergo can aid in understanding how surgeons choose a specific suture in a given circumstance. In addition, this project addresses the infection rates of Monofilament Polypropylene, Monofilament Nylon, and Braided Polyester sutures, common sutures used in cardiothoracic surgeries. By conducting this research, potential improvements for sutures may be introduced by highlighting important features of each in preventing bacterial growth.