When it comes to surgery, there’s a lot riding on your choice of tools. While you may be a terrific surgeon, using the wrong tools can end up causing a costly mistake. Because of that, a lot of thought should go into which tools you choose for your operating room. However, many surgeons can find this to be a somewhat daunting task, and this is especially true for up-and-coming surgeons. This is because many don’t know where to start looking at the likes of a surgical scalpel or other tools. There is a lot of different aspects to a surgical blade that can end up making a significant difference. Furthermore, which scalpel you need could also depend on exactly what you’ll be using it for. However, there are a few key things you should look at when considering which surgical scalpels to get for your operating room.
Before we get into why blade shape matters, it’s worth noting why each different shape is numbered. This is essentially used as a shorthand for each particular shape and doesn’t have much of meaning beyond indicating the shape. The scalpel is typically made up of two distinct parts; the blade and the handle, the both of which have their unique properties. Having said that, there are three separate blades that are more commonly used in surgeries.
The first of these is number 10, which is often used for making small incisions. This includes the likes of opening the bronchus during thoracic surgery. The second most common would be number 11 which is more elongated than number ten and comes with a triangular blade shape. This shape lends itself better to stabbing incisions, such as opening coronary arteries or the aorta. Lastly, number 15, which has a small, curved cutting edge. This is typically used to create short and precise cuts.
The most common types of these surgeries include opening coronary arteries or excising a skin lesion. While there are over a dozen other shapes and sizes that would be better suited to specific circumstances, these three would be beneficial for those still learning the ropes. Because of their ease of use and versatility, they’ve become the most popular types of a surgical scalpel. With that in mind, they’re a necessity for any operating room.
Surgical Blade Handles
Surgical blade handles are typically separate from the blades, as we mentioned above. It’s also the choice of the surgeon which handles to use. There are a few different types of handles, ranging from number three to nine, that vary in shape, weight, and length. This allows the surgeon to ensure that they’re getting the best precision possible for the surgery and allows a certain amount of customizability with their scalpel. Numbers three and four have a long, flat handle while numbers five, six and eight have a wider base. In contrast, number seven is shaped somewhat like a writing pen—slender. Lastly, number nine is longer and slender. Many of these surgical blades come in a variety of sizes to fit on specific handle sizes.
Which Type Of Metal Is Best?
The quality of a surgical scalpel lies in the quality of the material used to make it, as well as how it’s made. Traditionally, silver was used to make these tools, but stainless steel has quickly grown to become the most common. Furthermore, tempered steel or high carbon steel are common. There are a variety of other less common materials that can be used, with ceramic becoming increasingly more popular. However, this begs the question as to which material is the best for surgery.
This depends highly on the types of surgeries you and your team perform, as well as their tactile sensitivity. Some surgical teams may perform better with certain materials. Because of that, it’s worth noting which materials your team works best with so that you can ensure the most successful surgery. Because of that, it’s worth some serious thought.
By focusing on each of these aspects, you’ll be able to ensure that you’re using the right surgical scalpel every surgery. With that in mind, you should be able to relax a whole lot more when it comes to picking out the right ones and this should help reduce many of the risks associated with complicated surgery.