Absorbable suture and ligature material has held its place in surgery since Lister first introduced it into general practice. At times it has appeared as though it would become displaced by inabsorbable permanent material, but the general tendency at the present time seems to be in its favor. The improvements which have been made during the last decade in the sterilization of catgut and other absorbable animal sutures have contributed much in establishing and maintaining the confidence of surgeons in their use. There can be very little doubt that catgut will eventually render silk and metal obsolete as materials for buried sutures.
Nature abhors foreign material of all kinds in the living tissues. The ideal material for ligatures and sutures is one that is removable by absorption after it has accomplished the mechanical purposes for which it was employed. During my four months' tour through Europe and the Orient last summer