Chapter 3: Table of contents
There are many different types, sizes and shapes of surgical scissors available to the veterinary surgeon. Various tip configurations are available such as sharp-sharp, blunt-blunt or sharp-blunt. For example, sharp-blunt scissors have one sharp tip and one blunt tip. Scissors can also be curved or straight. In general, straight scissors offer better mechanical advantage and are used to cut through tough, fibrous tissue such as fascia and the linea alba. Various scissors are used to accomplish different tasks. Mayo scissors are typically used to cut fascia, Metzenbaum scissors are used to cut through thin and soft tissues such as bowel and fat. Simple sharp-Blunt scissors are generally used to cut suture intraoperatively. Scissors can also be used to bluntly dissect tissues. This is done by inserting the closed scissor within the tissues to be dissected and opening the jaw in a ‘stretching’ motion without cutting.
Sharp-Blunt scissors are used to cut suture during surgery. These scissors are less expensive than Mayo or Metzenbaum scissors which should be reserved for cutting tissues.
Mayo scissors are available in varying lengths and can be curved or straight. These scissors are very strong and are mainly used for cutting connective tissues and fascia. They can also be used for cutting sutures.
Metzenbaum scissors typically have a long handle to blade ratio. They are available in varying sizes, with a curved or straight blade, and are used for cutting delicate tissues and for blunt tissue dissection.
Iris scissors can be curved or straight and vary in size. They are reserved for cutting delicate tissues and are often used for ophthalmic procedures.
Tenotomy scissors are available in varying sizes and can be straight or curved. They have a blunt tip and are used for cutting fine, delicate tissues especially in ophthalmic surgery.
Bandage (Lister) Scissors:
Lister bandage scissors have a large, bottom blade with a blunt nodule at the tip. This configuration reduces the likelihood of tissue injury when the scissors are introduced between skin and bandage material. These scissors are very sturdy and are constructed specifically for bandage removal.
Suture scissors are typically used to remove skin sutures after the incision has healed. A notch in one of the blades allows the loop of suture to be easily hooked and prevents excessive lifting of the tissues during cutting.