Size denotes the diameter of the suture material. The accepted surgical practice is to use the smallest diameter suture that will adequately hold the mending wound tissue. This practice minimizes trauma as the suture is passed through the tissue to effect closure. It also ensures that the minimum mass of foreign material is left in the body. Suture size is stated numerically; as the number of 0s in the suture size increases, the diameter of the strand decreases. For example, United States Pharmacopeia (USP) size 5-0, or 00000, is smaller in diameter than size 4-0, or 0000. The smaller the size, the less tensile strength the suture will have.

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