Plus Sutures have been shown in multiple meta-analysis to reduce the risk of surgical site infections (SSIs) by nearly 30%1

If adopted by NHS, estimated average cost saving of £13.62 per patient resulting from SSI reduction compared with standard non-Plus Sutures1

LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ethicon*, part of Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies**, today announced that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has issued new medical technologies guidance (MTG59) recommending the use of Plus Sutures in surgeries within the National Health Service (NHS).1

The guidance acknowledged that Plus Sutures should be adopted “as part of a bundle of care for preventing surgical site infection in the NHS for people who need wound closure after a surgical procedure when absorbable sutures are an appropriate option.”1

Plus Sutures are the only sutures with triclosan available worldwide*** with antibacterial protection offered by IRGACARE®† MP (triclosan). Plus Sutures have been shown in vitro to inhibit bacterial colonisation of the suture for seven days or more.2-5 **** Plus Sutures reduce the risk of surgical site infections (SSIs) by nearly 30%.1

Giles Bond-Smith, Consultant HPB and Emergency Surgeon, Clinical Lead for Emergency General Surgery and Governor, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said “Today’s guidance gives the NHS an opportunity to add a powerful weapon to its arsenal for infection prevention in the hospital setting. We can’t afford to be complacent in the fight against surgical site infections, which double a patient’s chance of dying after surgery and are associated with increased length of stay, additional cost, and hospital readmission.”

SSIs represent a significant economic burden for hospitals6. Patients with an SSI are twice as likely to spend time in an intensive care unit and are five times more likely to be readmitted after discharge.7

To prevent large numbers of elective surgeries being disrupted by Covid, recovery plans and strategies need to be implemented8. By lowering the risk of SSIs1, Plus Sutures may be able to help the NHS at a time of unprecedented pressure.

Nisha Johnson, General Manager for Ethicon, Great Britain, said: “It is critical that surgical site infections in hospitals are minimised to help the NHS successfully tackle the formidable elective surgery backlog caused by COVID-19. We are delighted that NICE recognises the vital role Plus Sutures can play in hospital infection prevention measures, with their potential to free up beds in NHS hospitals by lowering readmissions and length of stay.”

The use of Plus Sutures compared to standard non-Plus Sutures, would conservatively result in estimated average cost savings of £13.62 per patient if adopted by the NHS, resulting from a reduction in SSIs and therefore a reduction in the healthcare related costs and resources associated with treating SSIs in a hospital setting.1

The NICE guidance also recognised that by preventing SSIs, using Plus Sutures results in potential environmental benefits to NHS England, specifically in three areas: greenhouse gas emissions, fresh water use and waste generation.1

Ethicon will now apply for an NHS England MedTech Funding Mandate for Plus Sutures.


About Ethicon

Ethicon, part of Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies, has made significant contributions to surgery for more than 100 years from creating the first sutures, to revolutionizing surgery with minimally invasive procedures. Our continuing dedication to Shape the Future of Surgery is built on our commitment to help address the world’s most pressing health care issues and improve and save more lives. Through Ethicon’s surgical technologies and solutions including sutures, staplers, energy devices, trocars and adjunctive hemostats and our commitment to treat serious medical conditions like obesity and cancer worldwide, we deliver innovation to make a life-changing impact. For more information, visit

For information about Plus Sutures, visit

About Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies

As the world’s most comprehensive medical devices business, we are building on a century of experience, leveraging science and technology, to shape the future of health care. With unparalleled breadth, depth and reach in surgery, orthopaedics, vision and interventional solutions we are working to profoundly change the way care is delivered. We are in this for life.

* Ethicon represents the products and services of Ethicon, Inc., Ethicon Endo-Surgery, LLC and certain of their affiliates. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

** The Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies comprise the surgery, orthopedics, vision, and interventional solutions businesses within Johnson & Johnson’s Medical Devices segment.

*** There are no competitive Triclosan coated sutures that have both FDA clearance and CE Mark as of June 2020. (144092-200619)

† A trademark of BASF SE.

**** The following bacteria have been evaluated: Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermis, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus epidermis (MRSE), Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pueumoniae.

©Ethicon Endo-Surgery (Europe) GmbH 2021 181197-210625 EMEA/UK


  1. © NICE 2021. MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY GUIDANCE: PLUS SUTURES FOR PREVENTING SURGICAL SITE INFECTION. Available from: Accessed on: 28 June 2021. All rights reserved. Subject to Notice of rights. NICE guidance is prepared for the National Health Service in England. All NICE guidance is subject to regular review and may be updated or withdrawn. NICE accepts no responsibility for the use of its content in this product/publication.
  2. Storch ML, Rothenburger SJ, Jacinto G. Experimental efficacy study of Coated VICRYL™ Plus Antibacterial Sutures in guinea pigs challenged with Staphylococcus aureus. Surg Infect (Larchmt). 2004;5(3):281-288. (144097-200619).
  3. Ming X, Rothenburger S, Yang D. In vitro antibacterial efficacy of Monocryl Plus Antibacterial Suture (polgelcaprone 25 with triclosan). Surg Infect (Larchmt). 2007;8(2):201-207. (144097-200619).
  4. Ming X, Rothenburger S, Nichols MM. In vivo and in vitro antibacterial efficacy of PDS Plus (polidioxanone with triclosan) suture. Surg Infect (Larchmt). 2008;9(4):451-457. (144097-200619).
  5. Rothenburger S, Spangler D, Bhende S, Burkley D. In vitro antimicrobial evaluation of coated Vicryl Plus Antibacterial Suture (coated polyglactin 910 with triclosan) using zone of inhibition assays. Surg Infect (Larchmt). 2002;3(suppl):S79-S87. (144097-200619).
  6. Jenks PJ, Laurent M, McQuarry S, Watkins R et al. Clinical and economic burden of surgical site infection (SSI) and predicted financial consequences of elimination of SSI from an English hospital. J Hosp Infec 2014; 86: 24-33.
  7. World Health Organization. Safe surgery saves lives. WHO Guidelines for Safe Surgery 2009.
  8. COVIDSurg Collaborative. Elective surgery cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic: global predictive modelling to inform surgical recovery plans. June 2020. 107:11:1440-1449.



Helen Bailey

Global Communications and Public Affairs

Senior Manager, GB & IRL

Johnson & Johnson Medical Limited,

M: +00 (44)7826 889 945


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