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Surgical Use of the Scalpel

The scalpels are excellent for their precision and manoeuvrability in confined spaces. This makes them popular in laboratories and manufacturing, or where precise cutting or scraping is required.

The scalpel is considered the classic surgical instrument and, as such, has remained unchanged for quite some time. However, today’s technology opens up a world of new possibilities for cutting tissue.

The Scalpel in the Medical Field

The scalpel is the most precise tool for tissue dissection and, compared to scissors or blunt dissection, causes the least trauma to the surrounding tissue.

Its uses are basically those of cutting and scraping of human or animal tissue, however, thanks to its sharpness, precision and easy handling are used by plastic artists, in craft workshops, in some industries, and even at home for some precise cutting tasks.

The scalpel usually consists of a disposable scalpel blade and a reusable handle, but can be a one-piece disposable unit. There are several different scalpel blades available, of which three are the most commonly used.

Blade # 10

The #10 blade is used for straight and larger incisions. It is held like a violin bow, thus achieving the most efficient use of the bistyuri’s larger cutting surface.

Blade # 11

The #11 blade is most often used to make stab incisions. It is held like a pencil and is often held face down. Blade No. 11 is extremely sharp and may inadvertently go too deep.

Blade # 15

The #15 blade most frequently used for short and curved incisions. In contrast to the #10 blade, it is held like a pencil, allowing the curve of the scalpel to come into contact with the skin.

On the other hand there are other types of scalpels for other purposes such as the diamond scalpel which is used in microsurgery such as ophthalmology. It is also used to make ultrafine cuts in materials from biological tissues to lunar samples brought to Earth.

The harmonic or ultrasonic scalpel, is used for soft tissues, cuts and coagulates with minimal damage through a vibrating blade that oscillates at a frequency of 55.5 kHz. The temperature never exceeds 100° while the electro-cautery or laser reaches temperatures of 150° to 400°.

A laser scalpel is a scalpel used in surgery to cut or separate living tissue by laser light. In soft tissue laser surgery, a laser beam erodes or vaporizes soft tissue with high water content. In ophthalmology, the excimer laser is used to change the shape of the cornea. Nowadays different models of scalpels or scalpels are commercialized, everything depends on the use that is going to give them and the type of cut that its user wishes to make.

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IMAGEN DE BISTURI / scalpel image