The beginning of medical surgical instruments dates back thousands of years in settings that were not recognized as the hospital facilities of today. The primative surgical instruments included flint, saws and knives. Various procedures such as removing fingers with knives were performed based on the knowledge of the day. Two of the most common surgeries were circumcision and trepanation, inserting a hole in the skull in order to release pressure or spirits that were causing pressure. Bronze lancets were used in Babylonian culture to make small incisions for minor surgeries. However, even minor surgeries were not performed often because negative outcomes could lead to harsh punishments. Ancient Chinese and Japanese cultures limited the number of surgeries because there was opposition to cutting the human body.
By the mid 1800s, anesthesia and antiseptics were introduced in order to ease the pain associated with common surgeries. Medical surgical instruments were sterilized beginning in the late 1800s when sterile rubber gloves were also used for the first time. X-rays were discovered in 1895 as surgery methods continued to progress. Surgeons were able to use x-rays to make better diagnoses before surgery was performed. Surgical instruments continued to expand with the operating microscope and laser surgery. Technology continues to advance and improve the skill of surgeons while at the same time increase the survival rates for patients.
Medical surgical instruments are used for a variety of procedures such as eye, brain, gastric, spinal, OBGYN, and bypass heart surgeries. These can be general procedures or for a specific condition. There are different classes of instruments which include:
Clamps for blood vessels and other organs
Dilators to access narrow passages or incisions
Mechanical cutters (scalpels, lancets, drill bits, etc.)
Suction tips to remove bodily fluids
Irrigation and injection needles, tips and tubes for introducing fluid
Scopes and probes
Carriers and appliers for optical, electronic and mechanical devices
Another way medical surgical instruments are classified is by the operation type, making to order process easier. For example, ordering surgical instruments for a gall bladder procedure will include retractors, forceps, scissors and clamps. Suppliers are a one stop source for surgical instruments and their multiple uses.