Operating Scissors / Surgical Scissors

Scissors are perhaps the most frequently used instruments during surgery and they fulfill different cutting requirements that arise during surgical procedures. For a scissor to function properly, it is important to maintain its blades’ sharpness and alignment. Materials like tungsten carbide are used to coat scissor blades, which maintain their sharpness. Surgical scissors are manufactured in different sizes and shapes depending upon the type of function that a scissor is expected to perform during surgery. Scissors with sharp tips are commonly employed during fine dissection. Scissors with rounded tips are used for light dissection of delicate tissues. Another type of scissors called Castroviejo scissors are employed in microsurgery. Castroveijo and Westcott scissors operate through a spring action and they perform extremely fine cutting when handle are pressed.

Dressing and suture removal requires special scissors. Scissors used for suture removal have straight or curved blades, with one blade containing a depression that helps to hold suture loop in place. The most commonly used size is 3.5 inches. The tips are intentionally made blunt to prevent unintentional sticks. The use of fine tissue scissors for cutting sutures should be avoided, as this may dull the cutting edges of blades. Less expensive scissors that are larger in size may be used for this purpose. For the purpose of bandage, a commonly used variety is the Lister scissors, which contains angled blades with blunt tips. This facilitates working when it slides beneath a dressing and prevents the skin from getting cut.

The curved scissors provide increased visibility during dissection. Straight scissors are mostly employed for cutting sutures. The handles of scissors may be short or long and their tips may be blunt or sharp. Some scissors also contain serrated tips, which help in preventing slippage of fine tissue; such scissors can be utilized for trimming grafts or for preparing thin tissue.

Short scissors are considered more appropriate for surgical cutting. However, deep dissection, for example in pelvic surgery, may require long scissors. Long scissors may however be difficult to work with, due to the fact that hand tremors are transmitted through the instrument, which may affect precision during cutting.

For the purpose of undermining tissues, blunt-tipped instruments are used. Scissors with longer handles are ideal for extensive undermining of tissues, since this allows freeing up of larger flaps of tissues. In this regard, Metzenbaum scissors are commonly employed. Since the handle length is greater blade length, the smaller blade arc makes them perfect for sharp dissection. In dermatological procedures, Baby Metsenbaum are commonly employed. Other scissors in this category include Ragnell, Steven’s tenotomy scissors, Kilner scissors and Shea.

Another variety of scissors is the black-handled super-cut scissors, which can be identified by a finer bevel angle at the cutting edge. Iris scissors have sharp curved or straight tips with shorter handles, which facilitate their use for extremely fine dissection and cutting. Gradle scissors have a very gentle curve and they are tapered.


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