How many types of surgical scissors are there?

Surgical scissors are essential instruments in any operating room. They are used to cut a wide variety of tissues, from delicate nerves to tough fascia. There are over 2,000 different types of surgical scissors in use, each designed for a specific purpose.

Surgical scissors can be classified into two main types: operating scissors and dissecting scissors. Operating scissors are used to cut through soft tissues, such as skin, muscle, and fascia. Dissecting scissors are used to isolate and differentiate tissues and are often more delicate than operating scissors. Some of the most common types of surgical scissors include:

  • Mayo scissors: These are general-purpose scissors that can be used to cut a variety of tissues. They are available in both straight and curved varieties.
  • Metzenbaum scissors: Long, slender-bladed scissors for delicate dissection and tissue trimming. 
  • Iris scissors: These scissors have small, delicate blades that are ideal for the precise cutting of fine tissues, such as those used in ophthalmic and plastic surgery.
  • Potts scissors: These scissors have long, curved blades and are specifically designed for cutting vessels.
  • Bandage scissors: These scissors are used to cut bandages and other dressings.
  • Stitch scissors: These scissors are used to cut sutures.
  • Tenotomy scissors: These scissors are used to cut tendons.

Surgical scissors are made from different materials, like stainless steel, titanium, and tungsten carbide. Stainless steel is commonly used due to its durability and ease of cleaning. Titanium is a lightweight and strong material often used for specialized scissors. Tungsten carbide is exceptionally hard and used for achieving sharpness in scissors.

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