Finding the Optimal Surgical Incision Pattern—A Biomechanical Study

Nikolaus Wachtel, Paul I. Heidekrueger, Carolin Brenner, Maximilian Endres, Rainer Burgkart, Carina Micheler, Niklas Thon, Denis Ehrl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The closure of wounds and subsequent optimal wound healing is essential to any successful surgical intervention. Especially on parts of the body with limited possibilities for local reconstruction, optimal distribution of load is essential. The aim of the present study was therefore to examine three different incision patterns, conventional straight, Lazy-S and Zigzag, with regard to their biomechanical stability and mode of failure on a porcine skin model. Our results demonstrate the superior biomechanical stability of Lazy-S and Zigzag incision patterns with perpendicular suture placement. This holds true, in particular, for Zigzag incisions, which showed the highest values for all parameters assessed. Moreover, the observed superior stability of Lazy-S and Zigzag incision patterns was diminished when sutures were placed in tensile direction. The conventional straight incision represents the standard access for a large number of surgical procedures. However, we were able to demonstrate the superior biomechanical stability of alternative incision patterns, in particular the Zigzag incision. This is most likely caused by an improved distribution of tensile force across the wound due to the perpendicular placement of sutures. Moreover, this technique offers additional advantages, such as a better overview of the operated area as well as several cosmetic improvements. We therefore advocate that the surgeon should consider the use of a Zigzag incision over a conventional straight incision pattern.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2600
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 May 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • surgical incision
  • wound healing
  • zigzag incision


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