In Stiches

So I’m working on this painting (still, due in LA on Saturday, Lord have mercy!) and I’m putting on the finishing little bits which in this case are the stitches holding my Franken-critter together.  This means that for the last day or two I’ve been studying pictures of medical sutures.  Which. Are. Really. Revolting.  I’m not sure I’ll be eating anything for a while.  But what’s kinda blowing my mind is that each stitch seems to be individually tied off and I’m curious why they have to do that since it seems like a huge pain (in every possible way).

See how each little stitch has its own knot?

See how each little stitch has its own knot?

Couldn’t you use a curved needle and do a running stitch?  Anyway, I’m not going to do that in this painting, it’ll be too visually confusing with all the fur so I’m just going to paint a nice, sloppy running stitch.  I’ll post a pic when I’m done.  (If anybody out there wants to illuminate this issue about why we sew people up like this, feel free to comment.)


4 responses to “In Stiches

  1. I can’t answer your stitches question but I had the opportunity to change the packing on my Dad’s surgical wounds recently. There was a gap of about 1/2 inch in which I had to replace gauze lightly soaked in a sterile solution. The wounds were of various depths. The reason for the packing was to allow the wound to slowly close on itself while keeping out any infection. It was like playing the operation game. My patient survived the ordeal.

  2. i’ve had stitches in my face 4 times. but i still don’t know the answer to this question.

  3. I’m no expert or anything, but my guess is so that if one stitch pops or breaks, they don’t all unravel.

  4. Whoa, Danny, that sounds intense. When I was a kid I got cat scratch fever (not just a song!) and my mom had to clean out the wound in my arm daily for a while, it was soooo gnarly.

    Skinny, how are we gonna improve the karma of your poor nose so it stops getting smashed?

    And Robyn, I bet you’re right — all I could think was that it might be hard to pull out the whole thread later if it was super long.

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