Wound closure and healing are essential for achieving optimal outcomes for all surgical patients. The healing process is facilitated by proper closure of the surgical wound. Today, ongoing advancements in topical skin adhesives supplement the armamentarium of wound closure techniques. Therefore, the perioperative nurse should remain knowledgeable about the use of topical skin adhesives as a strong, secure and effective skin closure technique.
This continuing education activity provides valuable information regarding the use of topical skin adhesives in surgery, specifically the family of butyl- and octyl-cyanoacrylate skin adhesives. The key clinical considerations in wound closure and the wound healing process are briefly described. The history behind the development of skin adhesives is provided, including a discussion of regulatory classification. The current indications and contraindications for use, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of topical skin adhesives are presented. The steps involved in the application of topical skin adhesives, including patient preparation and instructions are outlined. Finally, the clinical benefits associated with the use of topical skin adhesives as reported in the literature are discussed.