Features and uses

·        Weitlaner retractors have some brilliant features that make this instrument one of a kind and have some of the following uses:

·        A majority of the cuts/incisions made on the surgical sites are shallow, this retractor is used to hold the incision in orthopedic surgeries cases.

·        While conducting the clinical procedure, this tool offers a high degree of flexibility and precision

·        It usually comprises sharp or blunt tips

·        It comprises of finger-ring handle that makes it easy to use and surgical procedure is made fatigue-free

·        It provides better visualization of the surgical site

·        It has a ratchet locking mechanism that makes it an ideal tool for retraction

·        It is greatly used to hold the incisions made in the groin on account of femoropopliteal bypass (a scion/graft implanted between popliteal and femoral artery), herniotomy, or saphenous vein graft.

·        It is also used in neurosurgical procedures such as craniotomy to hold the skin of the scalp

·        In cardiac surgical procedures such as pericardial pacemaker implantation, the Weitlaner retractor proves to be very helpful

·        This tool is also used in facial surgeries

·        This retractor is also very helpful in pediatrics while repairing the tethered cord syndrome by holding the incision in the midline of the back. A tethered cord syndrome is referred to as a birth defect condition that requires fixation of the spinal cord due to scarring as the spinal cord and bones have not been formed completely in such children.

·        This retractor is used in plenty of other surgeries too where there is an involvement of shallow incisions.

·        It is also greatly used for mastoid surgery

·        It comprises prongs that come in ranges of 2x3 or 3x4

Sizes available and age group

Weitlaner retractor can be used both for adults and children. For adults, the size of this instrument ranges from 5 ½ inches (140mm) to 9 inches (229mm) long with 3x4 blunt prongs. In pediatrics, the size of this tool is 41/2 inches (115mm) in length with 3x3 blunt prongs. For sharp prongs (3x4), the length available ranges from 5 ½ inches(140mm) to 7 ½ inches (191mm). the opening sizes of these retractors vary according to the lengths.

History of Weitlaner retractor

Weitlaner retractor is named after an Austrian physician named Franz Weitlaner (1872-1944). He was born in northern Italy in the Tyrol region. He became a doctor at the age of 26 in 1998 after completing his studies in Austria in Graz and Innsbruck. After being appointed as a community doctor, he was required to perform surgical procedures with limited assistance. He used a Broz wound dilator to keep wounds open that operated using a screw mechanism. However, the Broz wound dilator was difficult to clean, hard to adjust, and often slipped out during surgery. Weitlaner issued his new device's first description in the Vienna Clinical Review. In Berlin, he commissioned Windler instrument makers to make the first retractor for him as per his suggested design. Windler added his design to their catalog in 1912, which became highly popular afterward.


The material used for crafting this instrument is high-grade German stainless steel. This metal possesses less chromium and more carbon than other metals. The material is robust, durable, and last longer compared to other materials. The stainless steel allows this tool to remain corrosion-resistant against environmental changes.

Wrap up

Weitlaner retractor is widely used due to its phenomenal advantage of being a self-retaining retractor. This characteristic allows this tool for improved access to the surgical site, is easy to use, allows single-handed adjustments, and has less tool clutter at the site of the incision. We at Acheron instruments provide a vast range of retractors with multiple variations. You can add our exclusive range of retractors to your unique surgical kit. We have crafted our instruments with the help of highly qualified technicians.


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