Brief Summary

Automatic stapling devices are readily available in many operating rooms, emergency departments, and urgent care settings. They are easy to use, fast, and provide excellent relief of wound tension.

Staples aren’t the best choice when going for a highly cosmetic closure, as they risk leaving unsightly marks at the points of entry adjacent to the laceration edges when removed. For this reason, placement in less cosmetic areas and areas where the laceration will ultimately be hidden (ex. the scalp, in a person with good hair coverage) are a perfect situation for use of staples.

Staples are indicated for relatively linear lacerations with well-defined sharp wound margins. Staples are relatively contraindicated for use on the face, neck, hands, and feet. Also, though they are great for superficial scalp lacerations, be cautious when there is underlying separation of the galea fascia, which is best closed with deep sutures.

Consider bringing a staple remover for the inevitable misfired staple.


  1. Align arrow with center of laceration
  2. Deploy staples at regular intervals
  3. Use non-dominant hand to gently pinch skin and evert wound edges