The basic instruments that every beginner surgeon should know are placed in four categories.
1.Cutting and Dissecting
2.Clamping and Occluding
3.Grasping and Holding
4.Retracting and Exposing
1. Cutting and Dissecting instruments
#7, #3, #4
(left to right)
7 handle with 15 blade (deep knife) – Used to cut deep, delicate tissue.
3 handle with 10 blade (inside knife) – Used to cut superficial tissue.
4 handle with 20 blade (skin knife) – Used to cut skin.
straight Mayo, curved Mayo, Metzenbaum
(left to right)
Straight Mayo scissors – Used to cut suture and supplies. Also known as: Suture scissors.
EX: Straight Mayo scissors being used to cut suture.
Curved Mayo scissors – Used to cut heavy tissue (fascia, muscle, uterus, breast). Available in regular and long sizes
Metzenbaum scissors – Used to cut delicate tissue. Available in regular and long sizes.
- Clamping and Occluding Instruments
Clamping and occluding instruments are used to compress blood vessels or hollow organs for hemostasis or to prevent spillage of contents.
A hemostat is used to clamp blood vessels or tag sutures.
Its jaws may be straight or curved. Other names: crile, snap or stat.
A mosquito is used to clamp small blood vessels. Its jaws may be straight or curved.
hemostat, mosquito (left to right)
A Kelly is used to clamp larger vessels and tissue.
Available in short and long sizes. Other names: Rochester Pean.
Kelly, hemostat, mosquito (left to right)
A burlisher is used to clamp deep blood vessels. Burlishers have two closed finger rings. Burlishers with an open finger ring are called tonsil hemostats. Other names: Schnidt tonsil forcep, Adson forcep.
A right angle is used to clamp hard-to-reach vessels and to place sutures behind or around a vessel. A right angle with a suture attached is called a “tie on a Passer”. Other names: Mixter.
A hemoclip applier with hemoclips applies metal clips onto blood vessels and ducts which will remain occluded.
hemoclip applier with hemoclips
- Grasping and Holding instruments
Grasping and holding instruments are used to hold tissue, drapes or sponges.
An Allis is used to grasp tissue. Available in short and long sizes. A “Judd-Allis” holds intestinal tissue; a “heavy allis“holds breast tissue.
A Babcock is used to grasp delicate tissue (intestine, fallopian tube, ovary). Available in short and long sizes.
A Kocher is used to grasp heavy tissue. May also be used as a clamp. The jaws may be straight or curved. Other names: Ochsner.
A Foerster sponge stick is used to grasp sponges. Other names: sponge forcep.
Foerster sponge stick
EX: Sponge sticks holding a 4 X 4 and probang.
A dissector is used to hold a peanut. EX: Dissector holding a peanut.
A Backhaus towel clip is used to hold towels and drapes in place. Other name: towel clip.
Pick ups, thumb forceps and tissue forceps are available in various lengths, with or without teeth, and smooth or serrated jaws.
Russian tissue forceps are used to grasp tissue.
Adson pick ups are either smooth: used to grasp delicate tissue; or with teeth: used to grasp the skin. Other names: Dura forceps.
DeBakey forceps are used to grasp delicate tissue, particularly in cardiovascular surgery.
Thumb forceps are used to grasp tough tissue (fascia,breast). Forceps may either have many teeth or a single tooth. Single tooth forceps are also called “rat tooth forceps.”
Mayo-Hegar needle holders are used to hold needles When suturing. They may also be placed in the sewing category. EX: Needle holder with suture.
Mathieu needle holder
- Retracting and Exposing instruments
Retracting and exposing instruments are used to hold back or retract organs or tissue to gain exposure to the operative site.They are either “self-retaining” (stay open on their own) or “manual” (held by hand).
When identifying retractors, look at the blade, not the handle.
A Deaver retractor (manual) is used to retract deep abdominal or chest incisions. Available in various widths.
A Richardson retractor (manual) is used to retract deep abdominal or chest incisions.
An Army-Navy retractor (manual) is used to retract shallow or superficial incisions. Other names: USA, US Army.
A goulet (manual) is used to retract shallow or superficial incisions.
A malleable or ribbon retractor (manual) is used to retract deep wounds. May be bent to various shapes.
A Weitlaner retractor (self-retaining) is used to retract shallow incisions.
A Gelpi retractor (self-retaining) is used to retract shallow incisions.
A Balfour with bladder blade (self-retaining) is used to retract wound edges during deep abdominal procedures.