Surgical Instruments

A series of images of surgical instruments and their names

Instruments for Cutting

Scalpels: commonest blades 10, 11, 15 Scalpels Blade No. 10: one of the more traditional blade shapes, this is generally used for making small incisions in skin and muscles.
Blade No. 11: this design is ideal for stab incisions. Used in procedures such as creating incisions for chest drains, opening coronary arteries, opening the aorta and removing calcifications in the aortic or mitral valves.
Blade No. 15: the most popular blade shape, ideal for making short and precise incisions. Utilised in a variety of surgical procedures including excision of a skin lesion or recurrent sebaceous cyst and for opening coronary arteries.
Mayo scissors (‘suture scissors’) Mayo To cut, suture, etc
Mützenbaum scissors (‘Metz’) Metz To dissect soft tissue, etc.



DeBakey forceps Debakey Non-toothed dissecting forceps designed for use on blood vessels
Adsons forceps Adsons forceps Toothed tissue forceps for holding and manipulating delicate tissues
Allis forceps Allis forceps Used to hold or grasp heavy tissue. Also used to grasp fascia and soft tissues such as breast or bowel tissue. Due to the sharp teeth they can cause damage, so are mainly used in tissue about to be removed.
Babcock forceps Babcock forceps Similar to Allis but cause less trauma. Non-perforating forceps used to grasp delicate tissue in laser procedures. Frequently used in intestinal and laparotomy procedures.
Kelly forceps Kelly forceps Primarily used for clamping large blood vessels or manipulating heavy tissue. May also be used for soft tissue dissection. Available curved or straight. The jaws are 1/3 the length of the shanks and serrations are 1/2 the length of the jaws.
Mosquito forceps Mosquito forceps Used in multiple procedures as a hemostat for small blood vessels. Toothed variation available for grasping delicate tissue in skin grafting, biopsies, or ophthalmologic procedures. Known for their fine tips, and short, fully serrated jaws. Available curved or straight.
Right angle forceps Right angle forceps Commonly used for working in obscured surgical sites. Most frequently used for clamping, dissection, or grasping tissue.
Kocher forceps Kocher forceps Heavy instrument designed to aggressively grasp medium to heavy tissue or occlude heavy, dense vessels. Horizontal serrations the entire length of the jaw as well as 1 X 2 teeth at the tip.



Yankauer suction Yankauer suction
Poole Suction Poole suction Remove large quantities of fluid from surgical sites, often during abdominal procedures. The Poole suction tube has multiple holes to prevent blockages caused by fat or tissue suctioned during a procedure. Available in a variety of sizes.



Deaver retractor Deaver retractors Large, handheld retractor commonly used to hold back the abdominal wall during abdominal or thoracic procedures. It may also be used to move or hold organs away from the surgical site.
Langenbeck retractor Langenbeck retractor
Army-Navy retractor Army-Navy retractor Also known as Parker Langenbeck, or retractor double end. Used to expose surface layers of skin, commonly in plastic surgery procedures. It is a double-ended retractor with a fenestrated handle. The blades at each end are angled at 90 degrees and also have a slightly curved, rounded lip. The blades also face in the same direction.
Richardson retractor Richardson retractor Handheld, single end, right angle retractor used for holding back multiple layers of deep tissue. Often used in appendicectomy, Caesarean sections and laparotomy. The blade is right angled, concave, and has a slight lip at the tip. The handle is hollow and features finger ridges for improved grip. The Richardson retractor is often mistaken for a Kelly retractor; however, the Richardson retractor has a smaller blade.
Weitlaner retractor Weitlaner retractor Self-retaining, finger ring retractor with a cam ratchet lock used for holding back tissue and exposing a surgical site. The Weitlaner retractor is a popular instrument, most commonly used in basic plastic surgery, large bone and joint procedures, and mastoid surgeries. It is also useful with small, deep incisions and soft tissue dissection at a superficial level.


Electrosurgical Instruments

Ligasure Ligasure Vessel sealer and divider, designed to be used in confined surgical spaces where access and visibility are a necessity. The instrument has a low temperature profile and seals effectively at a cooler temperature compared to Harmonic FOCUS™*1.
Designed for use in open procedures. Procedural applications include: ENT, general, plastic/reconstructive, urologic, thoracic.
Diathermy Diathermy Can be monopolar or bipolar. High frequency A.C. electric current either as a cutting modality or else to cauterize small blood vessels to stop bleeding. This technique induces localised tissue burning and damage, the zone of which is controlled by the frequency and power of the device.