Needles and Suture Types - Common Surgical Instruments
Needles come in many shapes and cutting edges for various applications. Suture can be absorbable, non absorbable, and is available in different sizes.
Needle Types - Needles must dissect through tissue to pass suture. They come in various sizes, types, and shapes depending on the application. Here are a few (though not all) examples:
• Tapered Needle - Needle is round and tapers to a simple point. Most commonly used in softer tissue such as intestine but may also be used in tougher tissue such as muscle.
• Conventional Cutting Needle - Needle is triangular with sharp edges, and one edge faces the inside of the curved needle. Used for tougher tissues such as skin.
• Needle Shape - The shape of the needle is also important. The curvature of the needle allows for use in specialized applications. Curved needles are used in most general surgical procedures, while straight needles are used for skin and subcuticular suturing.
Suture Sizing - Available in sizes between 5 and 11-0. Higher numbers indicate larger suture diameter (e.g., 3 is larger than 2), and more zeros indicate smaller suture diameter (e.g., 4-0, or 0000, is smaller than 3-0, or 000).
Suture Types - There are two main types of suture. The first is braided and non-braided, or monofilament. The second is absorbable and non-absorbable. Additionally, suture can be made with natural or synthetic materials. Some (brand) names and uses are shown below.
- Dr. Michael Visenio @BigMike_MD
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