Is Prolene Absorbable? Your Ultimate Guide

Prolene is a type of surgical suture used to close wounds and incisions. It is a synthetic, monofilament non-absorbable suture made of polypropylene, a type of plastic material. Being a non-absorbable suture, Prolene is not broken down by the body enzymes and remains in the body for a long period of time. In this article, we will be discussing everything you need to know about Prolene, including its composition, uses, advantages, disadvantages, and much more.

Composition of Prolene

Prolene is a non-absorbable suture that is made of a synthetic material called polypropylene. Polypropylene is a type of thermoplastic polymer that is used in various applications, including packaging, textiles, and medical devices. The material is inert and does not irritate the body tissues. Prolene suture is a single, monofilament thread that is smooth and strong.

Uses of Prolene

Prolene suture is used in a variety of surgical procedures, including:

  • Closing skin wounds and incisions
  • Suturing internal organs and tissues
  • Fixing hernias and other soft tissue injuries
  • Reconstructive surgeries

Closing Skin Wounds and Incisions

Prolene suture is commonly used to close skin wounds and incisions. It is often used in cosmetic surgeries, such as face lifts, where the sutures are placed under the skin and are not visible. Prolene sutures are also used in ophthalmic surgeries to close the corneal incisions after cataract surgery.

Suturing Internal Organs and Tissues

Prolene suture is ideal for suturing internal organs and tissues because of its strength and durability. It is often used in gastrointestinal surgeries, such as bowel resections and anastomoses.

Fixing Hernias and Other Soft Tissue Injuries

Prolene suture is used to repair soft tissue injuries, such as hernias. It is also used in plastic and reconstructive surgeries to repair damaged tissues and organs.

Advantages of Prolene

Some of the advantages of Prolene suture include:

  • Strength: Prolene is a strong suture material that can hold tissues and organs together for a long time.
  • Minimal Tissue Reaction: Prolene is an inert material that does not irritate the surrounding tissues, reducing the risk of infection and inflammation.
  • Easy Handling: Prolene suture is easy to handle and knot, making it ideal for use in surgery.
  • Low Tissue Drag: Prolene suture has low tissue drag, which means it can easily pass through tissues without causing any damage.
  • Long-lasting: Being a non-absorbable suture, Prolene remains in the body for a long time, providing long-lasting support to the tissues.

Disadvantages of Prolene

Some of the disadvantages of Prolene suture include:

  • Non-Absorbable: Prolene is a non-absorbable suture, which means it remains in the body for a long period of time and may cause complications such as infection, inflammation, and tissue damage.
  • Brittleness: Prolene suture can become brittle over time, which may lead to breakage and tissue damage.
  • Memory: Prolene suture has memory, which means it tends to retain its shape and may cause tissue indentation or puckering.
  • Cost: Prolene suture is relatively expensive compared to other types of sutures.

Comparison with Other Types of Sutures

Prolene suture is one of the many types of sutures available for use in surgery. Here is a comparison of Prolene with other types of sutures:

Suture Type Composition Absorbable/Non-Absorbable Advantages Disadvantages
Nylon Suture Monofilament or multifilament nylon Non-absorbable Easy to handle and tie, low tissue reactivity Not very strong, may cause tissue cutting or sawing, may cause inflammation
Vicryl Suture Polylactic acid or polyglycolic acid Absorbable Breaks down over time, low tissue reactivity Not very strong, may cause tissue cutting, swelling, or granulomas
PDS Suture Monofilament or multifilament polydioxanone Absorbable Strong and long-lasting, low tissue reactivity May cause tissue swelling or granulomas, expensive
Chromic Gut Suture Gut collagen treated with chromium salts Absorbable Inexpensive, easy to handle Poor strength, poor handling, may cause tissue reaction or contamination

Care and Management of Prolene Suture

After surgery, proper care and management of the Prolene suture is essential to avoid complications such as infection, inflammation, and wound dehiscence. Some of the care and management tips include:

  • Keep the wound clean and dry to prevent infection
  • Avoid strenuous activities that may put pressure on the wound
  • Avoid exposing the wound to water until it has fully healed
  • Attend all follow-up appointments with the surgeon to monitor the healing process
  • If any signs of infection such as redness, swelling, or discharge occur, contact the surgeon immediately.


Prolene suture is a strong and versatile suture material that is commonly used in surgery. It has several advantages, such as strength, minimal tissue reaction, and long-lasting support, and also several disadvantages, such as brittleness and non-absorbability. Proper care and management of the Prolene suture after surgery are essential to avoid complications. If you have any questions or concerns about the use of Prolene suture, speak to your surgeon for more information.

FAQs about Prolene Suture

  • Is Prolene suture absorbable? No, Prolene is a non-absorbable suture material that remains in the body for a long period of time.
  • How long does Prolene suture remain in the body? Prolene suture can remain in the body for several years, depending on the location of the suture and the patient’s healing abilities.
  • What are the advantages of Prolene suture? Some of the advantages of Prolene suture include strength, minimal tissue reaction, long-lasting support, and easy handling.
  • What are the disadvantages of Prolene suture? Some of the disadvantages of Prolene suture include brittleness, non-absorbability, cost, and tissue memory.
  • How should I care for my Prolene suture after surgery? Proper care of the Prolene suture after surgery includes keeping the wound clean and dry, avoiding strenuous activities, attending follow-up appointments, and contacting the surgeon if any signs of infection occur.


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