Scalpel: types, characteristics, uses

November 2, 2021

The scalpel is a laboratory instrument, also known as a medical scalpel, used to cut and tear for the purpose of inspecting or conducting medical and biological tests. It is considered indispensable for cutting human or animal skin, also in the area of ​​crafts to make precise cuts to designs.

It consists of a small object, with a thin and pointed blade, with which you can perform surgical procedures or educational experiments in an operating room or in biology laboratories. Various types have been derived from this instrument depending on the purpose or field it has, since a different elaboration material is used. Although it should always be made of stainless steel to keep it in perfect condition.

It is an ideal laboratory instrument that cannot be missed in the procedures and its grip is almost identical to the house knife. To maneuver it you must have good precision due to how sharp it is. It must be kept in perfect condition, washing it constantly and replacing it when its useful life wears out. In fact, there are some types that are disposable, or one-use.

Pay attention, because next we will talk about the Scalpel, what it is from, what it is used for and what its main characteristics are. It is important that interested persons learn about this important laboratory utensil , even on video , especially if they are studying in the medical field, so we recommend that you join us until the end of the article to discover the full picture.

 What is a Scalpel?

The scalpel is an essential tool to perform debridement and enucleation procedures through precise cuts in the area of ​​animal biology and medicine for surgical interventions or human autopsies.

It is part of the group of sharp objects, which is made to measure for the human hand, has a fine pointed blade, generally with a single cut, although two are seen, and which should be used only for professional dissections and vivisections.

Their difference is generally due to size and use. For example, the surgical scalpel is used in autopsies and they have a handle with a longer blade, since they must make deeper cuts that exceed human or animal tissue. While the autopsy, you must prioritize precision before cutting, as it could pierce the tissues and cause a risk to the health of the patient.

Its origin in the history of laboratories is not really modern at all. In fact, as early as the 15th century there were indications of an instrument similar to the scalpel in the countries of France and Italy with a model similar to the swords, daggers and knives that existed in the current population. It is made of steel, with a cutting edge and handle that were only handled by the surgeon. Usually, after use, the blade was replaced by a new one.

What are the characteristics of a Scalpel?

The scalpel is a utensil that comes in different sizes depending on the area of ​​use, made with a quality metal or ceramic and can be made to remove the edge once they are used in a procedure or intervention. Here are the characteristics of the scalpel :

  • Stainless steel alloy, but it has evolved to a better one which is carbon steel.
  • Great resistance to corrosion and is used in metal maintenance procedures.
  • It can be removable and interchangeable on the handle.
  • They are extremely sharp, enough to be dissections or cuts in the skin of humans or animals.
  • The blade is usually flat so that the cuts made are precise and in a straight direction.
  • On the other hand, the scalpel handles are corrugated and curved.

Types of Scalpel

Below we will show you the types of scalpel that differ:

Medical scalpel

It is the usual tool that we see in surgical procedures, also known as a scalpel and they are characteristic for their small size and flat linear shape. Ideal for making cuts or incisions to the light touch of the skin.

The blade is straight, giving great precision and is classified according to the handle. Its difference in relation to the other scalpel is that its blades are less sharp, either metal or ceramic, so the doctor will be safer in this matter. Even to the human touch.

Diamond Blade Scalpel

Professional medical or laboratory utensil used in the area of ​​biology to cut tissue . Its blade is ultra thin and is capable of making incisions in weak materials or even silver.

Electric Scalpel

It performs the same cutting functions, but works by electricity to heat the blade and make precise cuts. The power can be adjusted so that it does not pass through respective fabrics or materials.

Ultrasonic scalpel

The harmonic scalpel is a tool used to tear, cut or intersect tissues without damaging the structure too much due to the heated blade. It is made of a generator, transducer and two scalpel terminals to be able to cut or dissect the tissues.

Uses of the Scalpel

As we have been mentioning, it is used both for surgical interventions , medical procedures or cuts of soft tissues and autopsies.

It is also used in crafts and crafts where precise dissections are required using a thin blade. Care must be taken as the slightest touch of the skin will make a cut.

How to use the Laboratory Scalpel?

First of all, you should take the Scalpel by the handle, pressing your finger on the side of the blade that is not sharp. Carefully approach the soft tissue or material to be cut by pressing the tip and then opening with enough force to make an open line.

Once it’s done, it is carefully lifted and placed on the metal tray to be cleaned. Or, in case it is disposable, change the blade of it. Remember never use a scalpel without the handle , and never leave the blades out of the handle after use. Also, do not use excessive force when moving the saw.

Dr. Loony Davis5
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Born and raised in Brussels in an English family, I have always lived in a multicultural environment. After several work experiences in marketing and communication, I came to Smart Water Magazine, which I describe as the most exciting challenge of my career.
I am a person with great restlessness and curiosity to learn, discover what I do not know, as well as reinvent myself daily, someone who is curious about life and wants to know. I enjoy sharing knowledge.
This is my personal project but I also collaborate in other blogs, it is the case, the most important web on water currently exists in the US, if you are interested you can read my articles here.

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