Instrument innovations

Surgeons tool up for a changing world

The world of surgical possibility is expanding at an unbelievable rate. Whilst successful replantation of a severed human limb was not even possible until the 1960’s, surgeons in the 2010’s have already progressed to full face transplants.

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This presents ongoing challenges for manufacturers of surgical instruments, who have had to make significant advancements in instrument design and performance to enable surgeons to keep up with the changing needs of the surgical landscape.

The result is a raft of new and improved instruments designed to meet those new challenges. For example, some surgical procedures that were once impossible to perform now require either new dedicated surgical instruments or traditional instruments that are much smaller or larger than before.

Intricate procedures that can take hours to complete are driving the need for increasingly lightweight instruments, whilst surgical procedures involving Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) require a non-magnetic instrument solution.

Here we look at three recent instrument developments that are meeting the changing needs of the surgical world:


1.       Titanium micro-instruments

As advancements have been made that allow for extremely delicate procedures such as neurosurgery, cardiovascular surgery, transplantation and reconstructive surgery, the demand for an ever more varied range of dedicated micro-instruments has increased.

However, whilst many of these instruments have been made from the traditional surgical material of stainless steel, it has become apparent that titanium versions offer a number of superior benefits.

For example, Stille’s titanium micro-instruments, which were launched in 2018, are 40% lighter than Stainless Steel, making them ideal for surgeons looking to do precise, complex work without fatigue.

What’s more, titanium is very strong. In fact, it is fracture-proof, non-rusting and completely resistant to organic and industrial chemicals, allowing for greater durability and longevity

Finally, as well as being non-reflective to avoid the risk of glare during surgery, titanium surgical instruments are also 100% anti-magnetic, making them the ideal choice for surgeons using magnetic resonance imaging or MRI.

To find out more about micro-instruments click here


2.       SuperCut micro scissors

Another recently launched product that offers superior performance is Stille’s SuperCut micro scissors, which are available as both straight and curved models in different lengths, blade sizes and angles.

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All models are made with the original Stille Supercut blades for consistent cutting performance in soft tissue.

Stille’s SuperCuts are still the market leader in terms of performance 25 years after being launched, mostly due to several design features that are unique to these handcrafted instruments.

Firstly, Stille’s SuperCut scissors have a unique cutting method, employing one scissor blade surface and one knife blade surface to create the sharpest SuperCut scissors on the market.

Secondly, due to the way in which the scissors are sharpened, they can be used by both left and right-handed surgeons. Finally, unlike other brands, these scissors have a joint screw that can be removed by Stille’s technicians during servicing to inspect for corrosion, helping to ensure instrument longevity for 30 years or more.

To find out about the many other benefits of using Stille SuperCut scissors click here


3.       ergoDISSECT scissors

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Another leading instrument manufacturer that is focusing on innovation is Lawton, launching its state-of-the-art surgical solution for cutting tissue: the ergoDISSECT scissors.

Not only do these scissors offer precise cutting due to their rounded cutting blades and precision-machined edges, the blades are also made from Tungsten Carbide, a metal which is much stronger than stainless steel and can last up to five times longer.

In addition to being ergonomically designed for easier lift-up from the table, they have a stable three-point holding position due to a distinct index-finger support, angled scissor-rings and an anatomically shaped middle-finger support.

To find out more about Lawton’s ergoDISSECT scissors click here.


Future instrument innovations

Of course, these are only three of the many innovations in surgical instruments that have occurred over recent years and there are bound to be many more in the years ahead.

That’s because, while medical advancements may make surgery unnecessary for some conditions in the future, it is likely that we will still need a growing array of surgical instruments for procedures that as yet we have never imagined possible.

To take a look at our current range of surgical instruments click here