The world of medicine and surgery are not just governed by the use of human knowledge about the body. With modern times and progressive technology, advances in the field of medical equipment are defining the extent of knowledge of a doctor. Surgical instruments are a very important part of this field of medical equipment.
While the basic surgical instruments are more or less the same for the past many years with only minor improvements, but heavy machinery used to facilitate the practice of surgery has seen many breakthroughs. There are devices now that allow a surgeon to perform an operation on a patient while not even being in the same room. Here we will only talk about the basic surgical instruments used in a routine surgery.
1 – Scalpel
The first thing that comes to mind when one hears about surgical instruments is the scalpel. It is the first instrument required in a surgery because its function is to produce an incision on the skin through which the surgeon will create an opening. The precision of the incision is very important, as it defines the success of the surgery.
That is why scalpels are usually made of stainless steel, and are often discarded after one use or sterilized before use on any other patient. The sharp blade produces a very clean cut on the skin, and then can be further used to clear away the fat, muscles, and any other fascia.
2 – Surgical Sutures
Going hand in hand with scalpels, the surgical sutures are meant to reverse the action of the scalpel. They are used to join the two flaps of skin together, which were separated by an incision from the scalpel at the start of surgery. They are also used on the internal organs to close perforations, or wall off infected areas. They are also used on bones, but those sutures are made of a stronger material. The common sutures used externally on the skin are usually non-absorbable because they reduce the risk of scarring.
They are removed after the skin epithelium has healed and fused at the two points of separation. Such sutures are usually made of nylon, polyester, or polypropylene. Sutures used internally on organs are usually absorbable so that they will not have to be separately removed after the healing is completed. Such sutures are usually made of material like polylactic acid or polyglycolic acid.
3 – Surgical Staples
This is another instrument used to close wounds or incisions made by a scalpel. They are mostly preferred in emergency situations when there is no time to conduct the delicate process of suturing the wound.
They also hold the skin together more tightly so are less likely to give way and result in hemorrhaging. Hence they are often used in trauma centers or during surgeries when an inadvertent cut or wound has been produced and has to be closed immediately to prevent the risk of internal hemorrhaging. But in normal surgical procedures, surgical sutures are usually preferred.