An Introduction to Surgical Instruments in the Operating Theatre

Mini Review


  • Joel Ward
  • Katherine Hurst
  • Jo Mitchell
  • Ashok Handa



surgical instruments


The operating theatre can be an intimidating environment for Foundation Doctors and Medical Students, even if they are interested in surgery. A pre-requisite level of knowledge is required before active participation is possible, which is crucial to access learning opportunities. Initially, junior assistants are often tasked with retraction using a Langenbeck, but good performance here often leads to more substantial contributions later in the operating list. Therefore, it is crucial to be familiar surgical instruments and their function to facilitate active assistance of the primary operator. Below we have compiled the 17 most frequently used surgical instruments and five top tips.