- What is the procedure being done? Picking the correct surgical instrument can go a long way in determining the success of the surgical technique
- What is the size of the subject being performed?
- How often will the instrument be used during the procedure?
Categories of Surgical Instruments
Surgical products can be classified based on the function to be performed. This categorization includes:
- Cutting instruments such as scissors, knives surgical blades, and scalpels
- Grasping or holding equipment such as tissue forceps and hemostatic forceps
- Retractors, which are used to open or hold an organ or tissue out of the way, such as Weitlaner and Gelpi.
Scissors are cutting instruments that have two blades that are joined together at a pivot enabling the sharp edges to glide against each other to shear material between the blades.
Waleed Alabsi recommends that when selecting the appropriate pair of surgical scissors, keep in mind the following:
- Fine tip scissors are ideal for use in spaces that provide restricted movement. They are designed for ophthalmologic procedures that require delicate tissue incision. They provide for quick accurate cuts with minimal tissue damage.
- When you want to avoid cutting underlying tissues, use curve-tipped scissors.
- Scissors with a heavier construction are utilized in cutting fur, thicker vessels, or tissue.
- The depth of the incision is considered as it determines the length of the scissor tips.
- Scissors with tungsten carbide inserts are more durable, hold an edge longer and last longer than instruments made of stainless steel.
Some well known common types of scissors according to Waleed Alabsi include:
Vannas scissors. They are delicate spring scissors. They are perfect for right or left-hand use, are used frequently in ophthalmic and neurosurgical procedures, and work well under a dissection microscope.
Castroviejo scissors were designed for use in ophthalmologic applications that require a delicate incision of tissue. They make sure minimal tissue damage is done while making quick, accurate cuts.
McPherson-Vannas are a type of scissors that are surgical medical products designed for ophthalmologic procedures that require fine delicate blades for intricate work.
According to Waleed Alabsi, surgical forceps are broadly divided into two categories. These are the ring forceps (also called hemostats, hemostatic forceps, and locking forceps) and the thumb forceps (frequently called tweezers or pinning forceps).
While selecting forceps, consider the following:
- Reverse forceps provide uniform tension since they are self-closing and you have to squeeze them to open them.
- For non-porous, corrosion, and heat resistant forceps consider the ceramic tipped forceps.
- For general precision work consider the forceps with straight tips, slightly curved or full curved tips for more visibility.
- Ceramic tipped forceps are non-porous, corrosion and heat resistant, and insulated.
- Forceps with straight tips are used for general precision work, and slightly curved or fully curved tips provide more visibility
Ring forceps also called hemostats or locking forceps, are used for grasping, holding firmly, or exerting traction on the body tissue especially during delicate operations. They are hinged, look like ring scissors and have a locking mechanism called a ratchet, which is used for clamping.
Thumb forceps are surgical medical products used for grasping, holding, or manipulating body tissue by compression between your thumb and forefinger. The two broad categories of thumb forceps include the dressing forceps and tissue forceps. Dressing forceps are especially used when dressing wounds or removing dressings. Tissue forceps have teeth providing a better grip on tissues while minimizing tissue damage.
Waleed Alabsi demonstrates that this type of equipment is used to hold an incision or wound open, hold an organ or tissue out of the way to reveal what’s under. Self-restraining retractors have a screw, ratchet, or clamp to hold the tissue while wire retractors have some spring that enables the surgeon to pinch it together, position, and release it.