Retention sutures were traditionally used to reduce the pressure on wound margins in wounds requiring strong static tension, ie, wounds whose edges are retracted by 5 mm or more. But as would be expected, large sutures traversing the abdominal wall were often associated with wound complications. Now abdominal wounds requiring undue tension are often closed with prosthetic mesh and skin flaps.

Video Resource: Abdominal Wall Defects Following Sepsis and Trauma: Acute Management and Definitive Reconstruction, Timothy C. Fabian M.D., Martin Croce, M.D., William L. Hickerson,M.D., 1993 (VHS 22 minutes) available from Ciné-Med's ACS/USSC Educational Library (General Abdominal)