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What is a Michel Clip?

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  • Written By: Sandra Koehler
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 20 September 2016
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    Conjecture Corporation
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The Michel clip is a way of closing skin with sutures made of stainless steel used in a variety of medical procedures. Sutures are one method of wound closure. Wounds can occur from harm, such as a cut or blow, or by a surgical procedure.

The Michel clip has a metal band with sharp edges turned in the downward position. It is similar to a staple. When the clip is put in place, the edges turn inward and approximate, or almost meet. This secures the tissues together and forms a bond. These clips come in varying sizes depending on the area and size of the injury.

These skin sutures are applied using a specialized tool called the Michel suture clip application forceps. These stainless steel instruments resemble a pair of tweezers and can also be used to remove sutures.

The blades of these forceps are modified depending on its usage. Some Michel clips come with straight blades, while others are slightly curved to provide adequate grip and proper placement of the clip. Other variations of the clip application forceps comes with a hooked end or curved handles.

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The Michel clip can be utilized to provide closure of tissue and to stop bleeding in surgical procedures for human or in veterinary care. The cost of this system is fairly inexpensive, depending on the applicator or forceps used to place the sutures. Studies have shown that the incidence of inflammation, or swelling and redness surrounding the wound is slightly higher when using the Michel clip. Discharge was also slightly higher.

These studies also show the Michel clip had a decrease cosmetic appearance. This decrease continued through the clip’s use and immediately following removal. However, there is no significant difference in the cosmetic outcome after the wound had completely healed. This typically occurs anywhere between six to eight weeks after tissue injury.

The Michel clip offers the same cosmetic benefits as other more expensive wound suture procedures. Another difference is a slight increase in discomfort with removal of the Michel clip. This result, however, is temporary, and the soreness or tenderness dissipates after the removal is complete.

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