Surgical scissors are specialized surgical tools used during an operation for cutting and dissecting the tissues at the surface or inside the rodent’s body. Scissors come in varying shapes and degrees of sharpness. The blades of the scissor can either be curved or straight. Sharpened edges are usually used to cut and dissect the hard muscles and tissues. Scissors are made up of high-grade medical stainless steel. Some scissors are reinforced with tungsten carbide along their cutting edge for hardness. The hardness allows the cutting with sharp edges and makes the cutting easier and smoother. There are about 2000 different types of surgical scissors in use. Scissors are available in a wide range of styles, lengths, and cutting angles to allow the researcher to meet the needs of a range of surgical procedures.

Generally, scissors are classified as operating and dissecting scissors. Operating, or surgical scissors are used to cut soft tissue. Their cutting blades may be straight, curved, blunt, or pointed. The type of surgery or operation determines the shape of the cutting blade. Dissecting scissors are employed to isolate and differentiate the tissues as they are more precise than the operating scissors.

Types of Scissors

Instrument name: Lister Bandage Scissor

Other names: Bandage scissors

Category: Cutting and Dissection

Description: Angled blunt scissor with a smooth, flattened lower blade tip.

Uses: Lister bandage scissors are used for dressings, drapes.  The blunt tip of the scissor helps to lift the bandage from the skin safely for easy dressing and safe bandage removal.

Instrument name: Spencer Ligature Scissor

Other names: Suture scissors

Category: Cutting and Dissection

Description: Fine scissors have straight blades with a small notch on the lower edge.

Uses: These scissors are used as thread scissors to cut sutures and thin surgical wires intraoperatively and to remove sutures postoperatively. These scissors can cut even light sutures safely.

Instrument name: Kelly Operating Scissors

Other Names: Tissue scissors

Category: Cutting and Dissection

Description: Fine curved tip blades.

Uses: Kelly scissors are used to cut and excise the excess fascia or diseased soft tissue.

Instrument name: Operating Scissors

Other names: Straight Mayo Scissor

Category: Cutting and Dissection

Description: Heavy scissors with sharp and straight blades.

Uses: Operating scissors are used to cut the sutures.

Instrument name: Metzenbaum Scissor

Other names: Metz scissors or tissue scissors

Category: Cutting and Dissection

Description: Long and thin scissors with straight or curved blades with blunt or sharp tips.

Uses: Metz scissors are used for blunt dissection and are used to dissect and undermine soft and delicate tissues. They are also used in visceral and cardiac surgeries.

Instrument name: Wecker Micro Scissor

Other names: Wecker iris scissor

Category: Cutting, snipping, and dissection

Description: Sharp-edged scissors with blunt ends.

Uses: Wecker scissors are usually used for iridectomy.

Instrument name: De Bakey Vascular Scissors

Other names: DeBakey scissor

Category: Cutting and dissection

Description: Double-action angled scissors with sharp blades.

Uses: DeBakey scissors are non-ratcheted finger ring scissors used for cutting and excising the vessels in cardiovascular and thoracic surgeries and procedures.


Instrument name: Systrunk Operating Scissor

Other names: Sistrunk dissecting scissor

Category: Dissection

Description: Slightly curved scissors with serrated blades.

Uses: Systrunk scissors are used in surgical removal of thyroglossal cysts and for shearing, dressings, and dissection of animal epidermal tissues. These types of scissors are used in microsurgical and general surgery procedures.

Instrument name: Olsen-Hegar Needle Holders with Scissors

Other names: Needle holder combination

Category: General surgery cutting and dissection.

Description: Scissors combination with serrated jaws.

Uses: These scissors are used to drive the needle and cut the suture without changing the instruments during the surgery.

Instrument name: Taylor Tissue Forceps

Other names: Bayonet, Semkin-Taylor tissue pliers

Category: General surgery-tissue forceps

Description: Tissue forceps with serrated surface and sharp ends.

Uses: Taylor tissue forceps are used to grasp, hold, and stabilize soft tissues and muscles during suturing.

Instrument name: Ligature Scissors

Other names: Suture scissor

Category: Cutting and dissection

Description: Tungsten-carbide curved scissor with micro-serration.

Uses: Ligature scissors are used to cutting stitches and sutures.

Instrument name: Fine Scissor

Other names: Iris fine scissors

Category: Cutting and dissection

Description: Non-serrated fine scissors with sharp blades.

Uses: Fine scissors are used to cut and separate the soft tissues.

Instrument name: Dissecting Scissor

Other names: Mayo dissecting scissors

Category: Dissection

Description: Long straight scissors with blunt, sharp blades.

Uses: Dissecting scissors are used for fine dissection.

Instrument name: Dissecting and Operating Scissor

Other names: Operating scissors

Category: Cutting and dissection

Description: Curved and angled scissors with sharp blades.

Uses: These types of scissors are used to cut tougher tissues.

Instrument name: Bandage Scissor

Other names: Lister scissor

Category: Cutting and dissection

Description: Angled scissor with smooth, flattened lower tip.

Uses: Bandage scissors are used for drapes, dressings, and cutting bandages.

Instrument name: Vascular Scissor

Other names: De Bakey vascular scissors

Category: Cutting and dissecting

Description: Long-shanked, double-action scissors with sharp blades.

Uses: Vascular scissors are used to cut vessels in cardiovascular surgeries and vascular anastomosis.

Instrument name: Stitch Scissor

Other names: Mayo scissors, suture scissors

Category: Cutting and dissection

Description: Sharp, blunt scissors with a small hook on one blade.

Uses: Stitch scissors are used to remove sutures.

Instrument name: Spring Scissor

Other names: Vannas scissors

Category: Dissection

Description: Delicate scissors with curved tips and heavy blades.

Uses: Spring scissors are used in microsurgery, neurosurgery, and vascular surgery in small animals.

Instrument name: Ring Scissor

Category: Cutting and dissection

Description: Sharp blade scissor with ring handles.

Uses: Ring scissors are used for cutting of delicate and soft tissues.

Instrument name: Operating Scissor

Other names: Mayo scissor, dissecting scissor

Category: Cutting and dissection

Description: Straight scissors with sharp blades.

Uses: Operating scissors are used in rodent surgeries to cut tissues and fascia.

Instrument name: Micro Scissor

Other names: Rhoton micro scissor

Category: Cutting and dissection

Description: Fine-spring-operated scissors with either curved or straight tips.

Uses: Micro scissors are used for the microdissection of soft and delicate tissues.

Care and Handling of Surgical Scissors

Careless handling and use may damage or dull the surface of the instrument. Surgical instrument’s misuse can also endanger the test subjects. To prevent damage, the instruments should be handled individually. They should be placed in the tray carefully and should not be jostled around while setting up for the surgical procedure. The scissors should not be tossed or dropped. To ensure the animal’s safety, instruments should be sterilized and autoclaved before the surgical procedure. The scissors should not be used to cut other items except the tissues or vessels they are meant for. The blood and remaining tissue should be wiped off before reusing the scissor. After the surgical procedure, the scissors should be placed in a sterile solution to eradicate any infectious agents.

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