Retractors have a significant role in surgery.

·        They allow surgeons to navigate through minimally open and deep cavities in a better way and can be easily held by an assistant

·        Provide better visibility to the surgical site during and at the end of the surgery that benefits both the patient and the surgical team

·        Holdbacks the underlying organs or tissues for better exposure to the site

The applications of surgical retractors

Selection of the right kind of retractor is crucial as there is a vast range of retractors used in surgical practices. Different types of retractors have their own characteristics having blades of different sizes, shapes, and sharpness. Some retractors are interchangeable while others don’t. Let’s discuss the two broader categories of surgical retractors:


The two main broader categories of retractors are:

·        Hand-held retractors- used manually and must be held by a surgeon or assistant during surgeries

·        Self-retaining retractors- comprises of ratchet/clamp for holding the tissue by itself that allows surgeons to remain handsfree

Manual/ Hand-held retractors

The following are the most common type of hand-held retractors used by surgeons:

Senn retractors:

               These are the most common type of double-ended manual retractors that are used to retract surface tissues primarily. These retractors can retract heavy tissues safely with their sharp three prongs. These tools are majorly used in plastic surgeries, minor bone or joint surgeries, dissection of neck tissues, and thyroidectomies.

Ribbon (Malleable) retractors:

               These surgical retractors are used to retract deep wounds. These retractors can be bent into different shapes to restrain the wound.


               These retractors are useful in both abdominal operations and small wounds. These are greatly used to assist surgeons in superficial or shallow wounds.


               These retractors are one of the most versatile manual retractors that serve multiple surgical purposes. These are greatly used in hand/ wrist procedures, dentistry, hernia repair, and other surgical procedures.

Hohmann retractor

               These retractors are majorly used for pulling and holding back the soft tissues of wound edges. This allows surgeons to expose the underlying contents easily. These are mainly used in orthopedic procedures to expose the bones.

Deaver retractors

               These retractors are primarily used to retract chest or deep abdominal incisions. These tools are used in various general surgeries including cholecystectomy (gallbladder surgery) for removing the right lobe of the liver. This tool is also used in Truncal Vagotomy, a technique that involves removing the left lobe of the liver using the main trunk of the vagus nerve.

Richardson retractor

               This essential tool is used to retract chest or abdominal incisions. These are useful to hold back multiple layers of deep tissues.

Meyerding retractor

               These retractors are used to hold back muscle and tissue in spinal and neuro surgeries such as laminectomy.

Self-retaining retractors

These retractors hold their position and shape for an extended period of time once they are positioned and fixed. Some of the most commonly used Self-retaining retractors are:

Weitlaner retractor

               These retractors are famous kinds of surgical instruments that are used in treating large bones and joints as well as basic plastic surgery procedures.

Finochietto Rib retractor

               This tool is also referred to as a rib spreader as it is designed to separate ribs in thoracic surgery specifically

Balfour Abdominal retractor

               These retractors are essentially used during deep abdominal procedures for retracting incisions or wound edges.

The Hip retractor system

               One of the most widely used special surgical systems is the Hip retractor system. These self-retaining hip retractors work incredibly during hip fracture surgery and hip arthroplasty and provide a clear view and excellent exposure during these procedures. This system also provides liberation by assisting the staff. In such procedures.

Gelpi retractors

               These tools are commonly used in spine surgeries and in smaller surgical sites for retracting shallow incisions. These retractors have a unique shape that enables them to retract hard-to-reach incision sites. The finger ring handles provide maximum control over the tool.


Surgical retractors are manufactured in high-quality German stainless steel material that makes these tools robust, durable, and reliable. These surgical instruments can be easily sterilized following the standard method of sterilization for tools. They are rust-free, light weight and can withstand environmental changes.

Wrap up

Surgical retractors play a vital role in all surgical scenarios for their impeccable features. These are essential equipment for every surgical tool kit in operating rooms.

We at Acheron instruments provide a vast range of surgical retractors that can be used for plenty of different surgical procedures. Our surgical tools are crafted with highly qualified technicians, the latest technology, and the best quality material because we don’t compromise on quality. Don’t forget to check out our website to get an overview of our amazing products at the most reasonable prices.



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