Zip surgical skin closure device associated with less pain for paediatric patients undergoing congenital heart surgery


According to a study published in the Annals of Thoracic Surgery, the Zip surgical skin closure device (ZipLine Medical) is associated with significant improvements in scar appearance, efficiency and patient pain compared with suturing in paediatric patients undergoing cardiovascular surgery. A press release reports that the Zip is a “non-invasive and easy-to-use device”, providing secure wound closure with uniformly distributed force along the length of the incision.

According to the press release, with the Zip device, clinicians can adjust closure tension at any time peri- or postprocedure. Because closure and removal are simple, clinicians can delegate the task to a physician assistant or nurse, and patients may remove the Zip at home—if appropriate. The flexible design is not only comfortable for patients, but often enables them to make quicker progress in their recovery. Because there are no skin punctures with the Zip, scarring is minimal and there are no added channels for infection to enter.

In first prospective, randomised, controlled study of Zip, 214 paediatric patients underwent cardiovascular surgery with either the Zip device or continuous subcuticular polypropylene sutures being used for skin closure. At the three-month follow-up point, the investigators found:

  • Significant improvement in scar appearance with the Zip, as evaluated by two plastic surgeons using the Vancouver Scar Scale (VSS) (p<0.017)
  • Three times shorter skin closure time with the Zip (113.0 ± 9.1 seconds versus 375.9 ± 60.2 seconds; p<0.001)
  • Significantly fewer patients cried or complained during removal of the Zip (7.1% vs. 52.5%; p<0.001)

The authors Yuki Tanaka (Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, Gunma Children’s Medical Center, Shibukawa, Japan) and others conclude: “Our study showed that the (Zip) device has an excellent performance in improving the cosmetic appearance and reducing skin closure times.” They add: “Use of this (Zip) device was not affected by the length of the wound or by different surgeons,” and “the tension can be adjusted multiple times according to the extent of the oedema or wound healing after the operation.”