A suture spring device applicator includes a storage portion configured to hold one or more suture spring devices in a substantially relaxed, contracted state and a guide disposed distally of the storage portion to receive a suture spring device in an elastically deformed, expanded state for positioning in or in relation to anatomical tissue. A pusher is used to bias the suture spring device distally so that, when the guide is rotated and moved proximally relative to the suture spring device, the device will be loaded into the guide in the elastically deformed, expanded state. The guide is then positioned in or in relation to anatomical tissue and is retracted or moved proximally relative to the suture spring device which is held in place by the force of the pusher. When the guide is removed, the suture spring device is no longer restrained and can move from the elastically deformed, expanded state toward the substantially relaxed, contracted state to apply a predetermined force to compress the anatomical tissue. The applicator preferably includes a central channel through which instruments, such as tissue penetrating instruments and tissue grasping instruments can be inserted prior to or during an operative procedure.