BACKGROUND Peripheral nerves can be injured by congenital, mechanical, thermal or chemical causes. Peripheral nerve injuries are increasing in frequency, particularly in countries that are becoming more industrialized. Nerve and extremity injuries result in work loss and high treatment costs, and can lead to separation of patients from their social environment. Failure of nerve repair causes muscle functional losses, sensory losses and painful neuropathies. OBJECTIVES To compare the effects of condensed polytetrafluoroethylene (cPTFE) and cPTFE-extractum cepae-heparin-allantoin (cPTFE-EHA) gel compound on nerve and functional recovery, and the prevention of adhesion and scar tissue formation after total peripheral nerve injury repaired by primary suture in a rat model. RESULTS cPTFE alone and cPTFE-EHA gel was found to provide better functional recovery and nerve regeneration compared with primary repair only. In the macroscopic evaluation, the cPTFE-EHA gel was found to have no negative effect on wound healing and, despite increasing extra-neural scar tissue and adhesions, it had no negative effect on nerve function; in addition, it facilitated functional recovery. CONCLUSIONS Compared with the cPTFE application alone, the application of perineural cPTFE-EHA gel during peripheral nerve surgery appeared to provide better functional recovery without causing any significant changes in epineural and extraneural scar tissue formation.