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Needle Holders

Chapter 3: Table of contents

Needle Holders:

Various Needle Holders

Needle holders are used to grasp suture needles when suturing tissues. The jaws of the needle holder undergo metal-to-metal contact causing rapid wear of the grasping surfaces. Needle holders should be tested for function regularly by placing an appropriate sized needle in the jaws and noting if needle rotation is possible (indicating that repair is necessary). Tungsten carbide inserts are one of the hallmarks of higher quality needle drivers.  The tungsten carbine inserts can be replaced when the needle grip is no longer appropriate.

Components of Needle Holders

Different types of Needle Holders:

  • Mayo-Hegar:

This instrument is used to hold and manipulate curved needles during surgical procedures. This is a heavy needle driver with a mildly tapered tip and no cutting blade.

Olsen-Hegar and Mayo Hegar: Olsen-Hegar (Left) and Mayo-Hegar (Right). Note the difference in length of the needle holder’s jaws and the presence of cutting blades on Olsen-Hegar needle holders (Left) used to cut suture.
  • Olsen-Hegar:

This needle holder also contains scissor blades at the base of the jaws which can save time to surgeons working without an assistant. It offers the disadvantage that one may accidentally cut the suture material while working. 

  • Mathieu:

Mathieu needle holders have a ratchet lock at the proximal end of the handles enabling the surgeon to lock and unlock the instrument by squeezing the handles together using a palmed grip.

Matthieu Needle Holders
  • Castroviejo (Microvascular):

Castroviejo needle holders are small and are designed to be used with a pencil grip. They have a spring and latch mechanism which allows gentle locking and unlocking and are typically used for microvascular surgery.

Castraviejo Needle Holders

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