Common Surgical Instruments with Names

Common surgical instruments with names explain about common manipulation, retraction, cutting, suturing, and suction instruments.

Common surgical instruments come in various shapes, sizes, and functions, all of which have advantages and disadvantages. If you’re going to be a surgeon, you need to be familiar with common surgical instruments names and when they should be used. In this article, we cover the most using common surgical instruments.

Types of Common Surgical Instruments

This article is meant to provide you with a basic understanding of common surgical instruments identification. A wide variety of general surgical instruments are available for various tasks, such as manipulation, retraction, cutting, suturing, suction and other purposes.

Common Surgical Instruments


Common surgical instruments that surgeons employ to interact, dissect and handle tissues or needles in the surgical field may include the following

a. Dissecting Forceps

In the operating room, dissecting forceps are used to manipulate needles and other devices while handling tissues and other materials. It is important to note that the forceps’ tip can be either non-toothed (atraumatic) or toothed (traumatic). The Debakey’s forceps are the most widely used non-toothed forceps in the medical field.

Common surgical instruments with names

Figure 1. Dissecting forceps (toothed)

b. Hinged Forceps

Hinged forceps, also known as Hemostatic forceps, are more similar to scissors an common surgical instruments. Clamping with a “lock” on hinged forceps is available. Depending on the type of hinged-forceps, the arms’ size and shape and the meeting surfaces’ shape might vary. Several instruments, such as needle holders and artery forceps, use this design.

Common surgical instruments with names

Figure 2. Hinged forceps

c. Clamps

Tissue clamps are used to block or impede blood arteries or other luminal tissues and have a similar design to hinged forceps. Clamps can be atraumatic, meant to crush tissue or have specific features, so they don’t slip, depending on their application.

Figure 3. Tissue clamp


to improve the view of the operative area by moving tissue or organs out of the way, the following common surgical instruments may be used.

a. Handheld Retractors

Instruments must be handled and operated by a person other than the user. They consist of three major components: a handle for the assistant, a blade for the patient, and an intermediate shaft. The blades come in many different shapes, like hooks, teeth, right angles, and curves, but they all work the same way.

Figure 4. Handheld retractor

b. Self-retaining Retractors

Self-retaining retractors come in various designs, from simple hinged ratchets to complex operating-table-mounted frames. They stay in place after they are put in place, allowing the assistant to do other, more exciting things with their hands. It also reduces muscle fatigue and allows for safe and stable traction during long procedures.

Figure 5. Self-retaining retractor


To open up tissue, such as the skin during the beginning of an operation in the abdomen, and also to separate tissues apart during an operation. The following common surgical instruments may be used.

a. Scissors

The majority look like simple metal scissors, though curved and angled scissors are also commonly used. As an assistant, it’s important to know that suture scissors are generally straight, and fine dissecting scissors have a slight curve at the tip. The surgical team won’t thank you for blunting the dissecting scissors on a thick suture material.

Common surgical instruments with names

Figure 6. Surgical scissors

b. Scalpels

Very common surgical instruments around all the hospital and health care facilities. The blades are disposable; however, the handles are commonly included in an instrument set, called a ‘B.P. handle.’ They vary in size and grip, so pay attention to how the surgeon handles the scalpel.

Figure 7. Surgical scalpel 

c. Diathermy

Diathermy uses energy to cut through tissue, but it also has cutting and coagulation properties to be used for both. High-frequency electricity is used to heat the tissue to which it is applied, which heats the tissue. There are different sounds made when cutting or coagulation is used. Two main types of diathermy are bipolar and monopolar, and they’re both used to treat people with pain.

Figure 8. Diathermy


Needle holders are a special type of hinged-forceps that are specifically designed to retain suture needles between their teeth, it is important to note that they exist in other forms as well. The purpose of these devices is to transfer needles through tissue for suturing.

Figure 9. Suturing Scissor


Suction is one of the common surgical instruments used to clean the surgical field of blood and other fluids by sucking them out. The suction tip is connected to a vacuum piping system located outside of the sterile field of operation. According to the procedure being performed, suckers can be made in a variety of shapes, as well as varying sizes.

Figure 10. Surgical suction

Other Common Surgical Instruments

Towel clips: Forceps-like tools are used to hold together different parts of the drape material used to cover a patient while they are having surgery.

Drills: Cordless battery-powered drills are used to drive screws into bone and to make holes in the skull during neurosurgery.

Saws: Common surgical instruments like Gigli saw, which is often used in amputations, are available in both battery-powered and manual variants.

Dilators: Blunt probe-like instruments used for stretching lumens, such as the urethra.

Tunnellers: Long hollow tube-like instruments that can be pushed under the skin, once in place drains can be placed through them before removal of the tunneller device.

Further Readings