The Preamble to Surgical Instruments

Surgical instruments are described as tools or equipment that are used in surgeries to cut, dissect, retract and clasp. A surgical instrument is one of the fundamental components without which surgery is impossible. They are made of stainless steel because of their massive strength and resistance to corrosion. As for surgeries, the instruments need to be sterilized, stainless steel is easily cleanable making it the material of choice. There are numerous types of surgical instruments used in surgeries, some of which are extensively used in all surgeries whereas others are specific to a certain type of surgery.

Similarly, their nomenclature varies from being named after the procedure or function it performs to its creator. A few instruments which are used in nearly all the procedures are retractor, scalpel and scalpel blade. A retractor, as the name suggests is used to hold tissues back or to clasp an incision open, it is primarily used to keep the surgical site clear and accessible. Scalpel and its blade are used to make incisions. There are many surgical instrument companies in Pakistan, one of which is Acheron Instruments.

Categories and Functions of Various Surgical Instruments


Surgical instruments used in an operation theatre are broadly classified into four categories according to their functions. These are cutting, gripping, holding in place, retracting and uncovering for clearer visualization. The most common surgical instruments used in any surgery are needle holders, artery forceps, surgical scissors and scalpel blades. As previously discussed these are essential instruments because they are used greatly in surgeries. The needle holder falls in the category of holding instruments as it helps in holding and nudging a needle during wound closure or ligation. Forceps are one of the vital instruments in grasping and holding a tissue.

Numerous types of forceps are used, each serving a unique purpose, one of which is artery forceps. Artery forceps are also known as haemostats as they aid in the control of bleeding. Their role in surgery is critical as they are used side by side when the initial incision is made. Scalpel blades are used widely in surgeries to make incisions since the beginning. They come in different sizes with a specific blade number used to perform a particular function. The scalpel blade numbers 10 and 15 are most commonly used. Next in line are surgical scissors, which are used for cutting skin and eliminating wound dressing.

Classification of Scissors and Surgical Blades

Like other instruments, scissors and surgical blades are of different types too. Mayo scissor named so because it was invented in Mayo Clinic by surgeons. They are also made of stainless steel just like other surgical instruments but are also available in titanium. They are widely distributed as stainless steel because of their cheaper rates. They come in different sizes and shapes, each serving a different purpose. Mayo scissors are used to cut fascia, connective tissues and sutures. They are differentiated from other similar scissors on having blunt ends. Straight and curved Mayo scissors are distinguished by their functions.

Straight Mayo Scissors are used to cut sutures and superficial tissues of a wound whereas the Curved Mayo Scissors are used to perforate deeper into wounds. As previously discussed, surgical blades are numerous in numbers. The function is the same throughout with a difference in design and hence the site. They are made of carbon or stainless steel. Blades cannot be reused as it poses a threat of contamination. These are some of the categories and uses of surgical instruments that are widely used. Manufacturing of surgical instruments in Pakistan is mostly done in Sialkot city which is considered the hub of metalwork. There are a number of companies that are manufacturing surgical instruments in Pakistan and delivering high-quality material to various hospitals around the country.

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