Although none of the editors of Insidesurgery.com are participating in the care of Fidel Castro, we continue to follow this story of baffling news releases concerning his health and possible surgery. Today, Reuters reported a story that Castro is having a problem with his stitches. What does this and the other information reported in the article really mean? Our best guesses are below:
Ailing Cuban leader Fidel Castro has been having problems with the healing of his stitches after stomach surgery in July a diplomat said Sunday
Stitches do not heal. This is inaccurate and meaningless to a surgeon. Stitches are more properly called sutures and are either permanent and stay there forever, or dissolve slowly over weeks to months or dissolve rapidly in a few weeks. It is the tissue around them heals or does not heal. Sutures can be in deep tissue such as organs or in the fascia which is the connective tissue layer that closes the abdominal wall or in the more superficial tissues.
If someone can see that the tissue is not healing this seems to imply that there is improper healing in a deep organ such as the bowel or stomach. This would manifest itself to “someone on the outside looking in” as an enteric fistula, which is the lumen of the bowel or stomach connecting with the skin. Fistulas can take months to heal even if treated properly and may never heal in patients with cancer or in a poor nutritional state.
Please check back. More Soon.
Copyright 2007 Insidesurgery.com