Posted by Surgical Tools

Classifying Surgical Instruments

Keeping up-to-date with the many different classifications of surgical instruments can be challenging given there are so many and there are so many different names and codes for all the instruments. The classification issues can make choosing the right instruments a bit difficult, since the differences are often miniscule.

That is why it is best to start at the beginning and to understand the very basis for how surgical instruments are classified. Starting slowly allows for a deeper understanding of how the process works, and long-term retention of the classifications.

Surgical Instrument Classes

There are several classes for instruments that are manufactured by major companies. For instance, it is common to see clamps that are used on blood vessels and a few organs. There are retractors, which serve the purpose of spreading open skin, ribs and other tissues in the body.

There are mechanical cutters like mayo scissors and artery forceps that allow access to narrower passages or incisions. Then we have instruments such as needle tips, holders and tubes which help introduce fluid into the body. There are even powered devices used, such as endoscopes, probes and light source cables.

When thinking about all these different instruments and the purposes they serve, it is easy to see why so many can get confused. However, it is about understanding the purpose of each instrument, instead of trying to memorize codes and categories.

New Procedures Demand New Instruments

As doctors and surgeons get more skilled with their work, and develop new techniques, the need for new instruments also arises. Not only are instruments expected to perform different functions and serve in a versatile way, but they must be flawless.

Even the slightest issues with an instrument where it does not perform as expected, can throw off an entire process. The good news is that newer and more advanced demands from the medical profession are being met with new techniques for producing and honing these surgical instruments.

For instance, it is common to see wireless computers and other machines combining to aid in the construction of various surgical instruments. In the past, all the work was done by hand. But, the addition of new technologies does not change the skillset required to produce surgical instruments. It is still on the skill of the professionals who are working on these instruments to ensure these pieces of steel are being fine-tuned into the tools that doctors and surgeons can use in their coming procedures.
Not only must the manufacturers of these instruments achieve the required quality by the medical industry, but they must also meet national and international guidelines. Every country has its own set of regulations for manufacturing surgical instruments, and the United States and Germany are no different. Manufacturers must heed these demands, and continue innovating, or they would get left behind by the competition.

For someone who is very new to the concept and classification of surgical instruments, it is a good idea to start at the beginning. Understanding each instrument’s purpose and classification can take time, but it leads to better retention of the information.