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Surgical Instruments

Surgical instruments include medical scissors, medical forceps, surgical staple removers, suture removal tools, suture needles, scalpels and blades, surgical kits, skin staplers, and razors. Scalpels are used to perform incisions for surgery but there are different types of scalpels for different types of surgeries. These items are used by surgical doctors or surgeons, sometimes with the assistance of surgical technologists or nurses. They should only be used by trained and licensed professionals.

What are Surgical Instruments?

Basic surgical instruments are tools or devices that carry out necessary tasks during a surgery or operation. Some surgical instruments are designed for general use while others are made for specific surgeries and procedures. These instruments are wide-ranging and have many different uses and indications. Below can be found a list of the most common surgical instruments and some information about them.


Surgical Instruments

Common Surgical Instruments

Scalpels are commonly used for initial incisions and cutting tissue. These consist of a blade and a handle. Surgeons tend to refer to this instrument by its blade number, which varies depending on the use.

Scissors are used for cutting tissue, sutuer, or for dissection. These can be straight or curved, and may be used for cutting heavy or finer structures.

Forceps are also known as non-locking forceps, grasping forceps, thumb forceps, or pick-ups. These are used to grasp tissue or objects. They are available with teeth (serrated) or smooth tips.

Clamps are also called locking forceps. They are ratcheted instruments used to hold tissue or objects, or provide hemostasis. There are 'traumatic' and 'atraumatic' options available.

Needles are available in amny shapes and cutting edges, and are used for a wide range of applications.

Suture is used to hold body tissues together after injuries or surgery. These can be absorbable, non-absorbable, and are available in various sizes.

Retractors are used to hold an incision open, hold back tissues or other objects to maintain a clear surgical field, or reach other structures. They can be handheld or self-retaining through a ratcheting mechanism.

Suction tips and suction sources combine to help remove debris and fluid from the surgical field. These are also used to clear surgical smoke.

Staplers are used for reanastomosis of viscera, vessel ligation, and excision of specimens. These can be one-time use, reloadable, manual, or electronically powered.


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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What types of instruments are used in minor surgical procedures?
A: A basic set of instruments may include scalpels, scissors, forceps with teeth, needle-holders, and mosquito forceps.

Q: What are the three categories of instruments?
A: Instruments are often categorized by function: cutting instruments, grasping instruments, and retracting instruments.

Q: What products should be purchased with operating room instruments?
A: Creating a sterile environment is essential in operating a successful surgery. Because of this, personal protective equipment (PPE), like gloves and gowns, should always be considered.

Q: What are the most common surgical instruments?
A: Among many others, some of the most common surgical instruments include medical scissors, scalpels, forceps, suture and needles, and surgical staplers.

Manuals and Documents
  • pdf logo   Surgical Instruments Overview

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    Operating Room Product Videos


    All Surgical Instruments and Uses (14:09 minutes)



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