Medical and Surgical Instruments for Nursing
Surgical InstrumentsDefinitionSurgical instruments are tools or devices that perform such functions as cutting, dissecting,grasping, holding, retracting, or suturing. Most surgical instruments are made from stainlesssteel. Other metals, such as titanium, chromium, vanadium, and molybdenum, are also used.PurposeSurgical instruments facilitate a variety of procedures and operations. Specialized surgicalpacks contain the most common instruments needed for particular surgeries.Surgical instruments are used in all hospitals, outpatient facilities, and most professionaloffices. Instrument users include surgeons, dentists, physicians, and many other health careproviders. Millions of new and replacement instruments are sold each year. Many surgicalinstruments now have electronic or computerized components.DescriptionBasic categories of surgical instruments include specialized implements for the followingfunctions:cutting, grinding, and dissectingclampinggrasping and holdingprobingdilating or enlargingretractingsuctioningScissors are an example of cutting instruments. Dissecting instruments are used to cut orseparate tissue. Dissectors may be sharp or blunt. One example of a sharp dissector is ascalpel. Examples of blunt dissectors include the back of a knife handle, curettes, andelevators. Clamps, tenacula, and forceps are grasping and holding instruments. Probinginstruments are used to enter natural openings, such as the common bile duct, or fistulas.Dilating instruments expand the size of an opening, such as the urethra or cervical os.Retractors assist in the visualization of the operative field while preventing trauma to othertissues. Suction devices remove blood and other fluids from a surgical or dental operativefield.