Sutures are what most people call stitches. This is when the surgeon actually uses material similar, but stronger, than thread. There are many different types of suture material available to your surgeon. Most often the physician chooses the type of suture to be used based on personal preference. Using a needle and surgical thread (suture) the surgeon sews your wound closed.
Whether your surgeon uses sutures, staples or Steri-Strips is once again based on the surgeon's preference and his decision of how important it is to close your wound rapidly. Using the Steri-Strip method requires a closure with many small stitches of the layer immediately below your skin. The Steri-Strips (which look like tape strips) are placed across the wound to hold the skin edges together. This often takes considerable time in the operating room and may not be indicated if (1) the time of your surgery is extended, (2) you have had previous surgery in the area, (3) your healing may be compromised due to other health problems or, (4) you have any other health concerns that would not make this type of closure the best method for you.
Staples are small metal clips that hold the wound closed. This method allows the surgeon to close your wound more rapidly. Your surgeon is the best judge as to the type of closure appropriate for your surgical wound.