Surgical Instruments Explained

Here we explain some of the facts and questions around surgical instruments

What are surgical instruments made from?

Most surgical instruments are made from stainless steel, but other materials such as titanium, silver, heavy metals such as Tungsten Carbide. The stainless steel grades used are generally 400 and 300 stainless steel.

How are Medicon surgical instruments made?

Medicon instruments are manufactured in their production facility is based in Tuttlingen, Germany. Tuttlingen is an internationally renown medical technology town that specialises in making surgical instruments for the entire world. /p>

How can you tell if an instrument has Tungsten Carbide?

Tungsten Carbide is an extremely hard metal and used in the jaws of needle holders and scissors blades. You can tell if a scissor or needle holder has Tungsten Carbide as the handles will be coloured gold.< /p>

What do the different types of Tungsten Carbide inserts in needle holders mean?

The Tungsten Carbide inserts are available in different options which refers to the suture size that is being used. You can find out more information here.< /p>. Tungsten carbide inserts allows the sutures to be gripped more securely, they do not wear out as quickly,

How can you tell if an instrument is made in Germany or from elsewhere?

An instrument made in Germany will have "Made in Germany" labelled on it. Usually if it is make elsewhere it will have German(y) stainless steel. This means that they have used the stainless steel from Germany but it is made in Asia, usually Pakistan. Usually the price of German made instrument is more expensive than a Pakistan made instrument.

What are Mayo scissors used for?

Mayo scissors are one of the most popular surgical scissors used. Mayo scissors are used to cut tissue and sutures, with the curved style able to cut thicker tissue or dissect tissue around the surgical site. They have blunt tips and are available in different sizes in straight or curved. They can also be called suturing or suture scissors.

What are Metzenbaum scissors used for?

Metzenbaum scissors are also one of the most popular surgical scissors used. Metzenbaum scissors are used to cut and dissect delicate, soft tissue in most surgical procedures. The straight Metzenbaum scissor is used for superficial dissection and the curved for deeper dissection. They have blunt tips and are available in different sizes in straight or curved. They can also be called tissue scissors, delicate scissors, dissecting scissors, preparation scissors. The most popular size is 18cm.

What is the difference between an elevator and a raspatory?

An elevator has a blunt tip and is used to elevate the bone or separate the muscle from the bone whereas a raspatory has a sharp or semi-sharp tip and is used to scrape or file the bone or cartilage. Raspatories are also known as rasps. They are both used in plastic surgery, ENT surgery, neurosurgery and some orthopaedic procedures.

What is the difference between an osteotome and a chisel?

An osteotome tip is bevelled to one side whereas a chisel tip is bevelled on both sides. Osteotomes and chisels are used to cut bone.

What are Iris scissors used for?

Iris scissors have short blades used in eye (ophthalmology) surgery, plastic surgery and ENT surgery. It is used for fine tissue dissection and cutting of fine sutures. They come with sharp, fine tips in straight or curved blades.

What are "Chicken Scissors"?

Chicken scissors are a common name for utility scissors. They have black plastic handles and 1 serrated blade with an extension of one blade which features a black, plastic tip. They are used to cut bandages or used for general purposes. You can buy these online here.

What are retractors used for?

Retractors are used to move tissue, skin and organs during surgical procedures to allow the surgeon access to the surgical site and keep it exposed. There are many different types of surgical retractors - self retaining, double ended retractors, hand held retractors, blade retractors, pronged retractors and malleable retractors. There are abdominal retractors which allow for deep cavity retraction, orthopaedic retractors and neurosurgery retractors.

What are the differences between tissue forceps/dressing and hemostatic forceps?

Tissue and dressing forceps are thumb forceps that look like tweezers. Hemostatic forceps have ring handles. Tissue forceps have teeth but dressing forceps have rounded tips.

What are hemostatic forceps used for?

Hemostatic forceps have ring handles and are used to control blood flow by occlusion. They are also used to grasp or hold tissue during surgical procedures and usually have a locking ratchet mechanism to allow the hemostat to stay closed. They are also known as hemostats or clamps. There are serrated hemostatic forceps such as Rochester Pean, Crile, Halsted and Kelly or toothed hemostatic forceps such as Allis, Kocher and Babcock.

What are the most common scalpel blades and handles?

Scalpel blades are usually single use with the most common sizes #10, #11, #15 and #20. Scalpel handles are used to hold the scalpel blades - the most common styles are #3, #4, #7. They are generally known as a BP (Bard Parker) Scalpel Handle (#4). Different scalpel handles fit different sized scalpel blades.