The Worlds Thinnest Suture Needle

Suturing has been a practice used for centuries and has been essential for the treatment and recovery of wounds and operations. So much has changed over the years with new technological advances helping to improve the practice making suturing safer and easier to perform.  The latest change however could be the best one yet bringing about a surgical revolution. The world’s thinnest suturing needle has been produced, so small in fact that it is capable of suturing blood vessels.

The new needles have an impressive diameter of just 0.03 millimetres and measure 0.8 millimetres long.  As you can imagine due to the size of the needle an even thinner suturing thread is needed. The thread used has a diameter of 0.012 millimetres and is so fine that it can’t be seen by the naked eye.

Manufactured by Kōno Seisakusho a small Japanese company the needles have been named “Crown Jun” and have already done great things. As mentioned above the needles are capable of suturing blood vessels, something that was thought to be impossible until now. They can however also be used for suturing lymph vessels and nerves all of which are under 0.5 millimetres thick. Aside from suturing the smallest of things the suturing needle has also proven useful for the reattachment of an infants severed finger.

The needle was first produced in 2004 after a university doctor approached Jun’ichi, the president of Kōno Seisakusho. The doctor wanted to know if thinner needles could be produced, despite others in medicine saying there was no need for such thin needles. Jun’ichi took on the challenge, producing his own tools and machinery in order for the work to be carried out. After three long years of hard work and dedication, Jun’ichi overcame various hurdles and produced the world’s thinnest suturing needle.

Unlike a regular suturing needle there is no eye for the thread to go through. The needle is too fine for a drill to make such an opening and a laser would simply melt it.  As a result the needle had to be split at the base, to create two prongs that the thread can be squeezed between.

These needles are a niche product therefore limiting the number of sales made from the item.  It is however thought that the need for such needles will increase as medicine continues to grow and expand.

 

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Friday, June 10th, 2016 by Charlie Stelling About Us No Comments

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