Surgical retractors are ideally used to thoroughly hold wounds or incisions during surgical procedures. They provide better access and visibility to the exposed area of the surgical site by holding back underlying tissues or organs. They generally comprise of angled/hooked or curved blade that aids in maintaining the desired position of a specified region of tissue. They are available in different sizes, shapes, and sizes.


Retractors have a significant role in surgery.

  • They allow surgeons to navigate through minimally open and deep cavities in a better way
  • 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 tissues or organs for better exposure to the site Categories

The two main broader categories of retractors are:

  • Hand 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

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