A veterinarian uses a variety of instruments to perform surgical procedures on animals. The instruments that are selected for a particular surgery are chosen based on their function. The general surgical pack contains instruments that are used for holding, pulling, clamping and crushing as well as closing the surgical wound when the operation is finished.
Here are some of the most widely used instruments in veterinary surgical procedures.
Scissors are used for many purposes during a surgical procedure and come in many different shapes and degrees of sharpness. Utility scissors are used to cut non-biological materials such as when applying and removing bandages (bandage scissors). Scissors for cutting suture materials when installing or removing stitches are called suture scissors and are a type of utility scissors. Dissecting scissors are used to separate and differentiate tissues because they are more precise than operating scissors.
A surgical cut made into a tissue or organ is called an incision. Surgical scalpels are used to make incisions and for excision of tissues or organs. A surgical scalpel is a very sharp knife. Replaceable blades and handles come in different sizes and styles so the surgeon can perform operations on all types of animals. A dissecting scalpel or tenotome is for fine dissection and cutting or dividing tendons.
Veterinarians use several types of forceps, depending on what they need to do during the operation. Thumb forceps are surgical pincers used for grasping, compressing, cutting and pulling tissues. Clamping forceps commonly called hemostats are used to control blood flow during surgery. Hemostats come in different sizes and have locking handles to tightly clamp the cut ends of bleeding arteries and veins.
These are an important part of the animal orthopedic kit. Veterinarians commonly use lengths of long tubing during operations and as part of wound healing. A tube that is inserted into a body cavity for drainage of fluid is called a drain. A cannula is a drain that is used to release build-ups of fluid or gas from animals. Catheters are tubs made of either metal or rubber that are inserted into body structures, permitting the passage of fluids into or out of the body.