n. a natural fibrous material prepared from the tissues of animals, usually from the walls of sheep intestines, twisted into strands of different thicknesses and formerly widely used to sew up wounds (see suture) and tie off blood vessels during surgery. The catgut gradually dissolves and is absorbed by the tissues, so that the stitches do not have to be removed later. This also minimizes the possibility of long-term irritation at the site of operation. Some catgut is treated with chromic acid during manufacture (chromic catgut). This gives catguts that last for longer periods before absorption is complete.
Subjects: Medicine and Health.