Common Veterinary Surgical Instruments

Common Veterinary Surgical Instruments
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  • 00:01 Surgical Instruments
  • 1:00 Scalpels & Scissors
  • 2:08 Forceps, Clamps,…
  • 3:41 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Artem Cheprasov
This lesson will cover the most common and important surgical instruments you will be exposed to as well as what they are mainly used for during veterinary surgery.

Surgical Instruments

I don't mean to be incisive, but veterinary medicine is not for the queasy! Lots of blood, guts, and gore are found in this field, especially if you're going to assist a veterinarian in the surgical suite. There are literally hundreds of different surgical instruments veterinarians use, and many of them have awesome last names to them that have nothing to do with their looks or function. As one of my surgical professors once said, ''That's what happens when surgeons are looking for immortality.''

Be that as it may, this lesson will serve as a good general overview of the more common surgical instruments you're going to be expected to know. Several other lessons will go over and fine-tune some of these groups of instruments in more detail, including their last names and uses.

Veterinary surgery
vet performing surgery on a dog

Don't shy away from this lesson! It may be about surgical instruments, but it doesn't have too many gory images. Well, at least not from this point on.

Scalpels & Scissors

Surgery would be next to impossible without a scalpel, a sharp instrument that contains a blade and is used to incise tissues. Unlike in the intro, the term 'incise' in medicine is a term that means 'to cut into'. Many scalpels have removable blades and thus, you need to actually put a blade onto the scalpel blade handle before using it.

Up next are another kind of usually pretty sharp object: the scissors. You use them in the kitchen, for art projects, and for cutting things open and apart. Well, scissors in medicine are used to cut tissues and surgical material apart. Scissors come in many different shapes and sizes. There are blunt scissors, sharp scissors, straight scissors, curved scissors, and scissors with serrated or plain cutting edges.

Both a scalpel and scissors are used during an ovariohysterectomy, or spay procedure, that removes an animal's uterus and ovaries. In such a procedure, a spay hook must also be used. A spay hook is an instrument used to locate a female animal's ovaries and uterus.

Forceps, Clamps, Retractor, & Needle Holders

Whether during a spay procedure or otherwise, when surgeons slice into a tissue with a blade or scissors, they need a helping hand. And that helping hand comes in the form of tissue forceps, instruments that help to grip tissue. These tissue forceps have different little ends to them that help hold onto different tissues.

One particular kind of tissue forceps are called hemostats, or hemostatic forceps. These are instruments used to clamp down on blood vessels and thus help prevent the patient from bleeding out.

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