6 Commonly Used Surgical Instruments Inside the Operating Room

The operating room is also known as an operating suite or operating theater.

They are specifically used for surgical operations where a neat, clean and aseptic environment is necessary.

In old times, operating rooms were referred to as operating theaters because they were designed in such a way that they gave free access to students and other spectators to see the surgery while it is being performed.

This allowed the students to get real-life exposure to surgeries.

Nowadays, places like a surgical center and operating rooms no longer have the theater setting.

They are just simple and spacious rooms with an aseptic environment, surgical lights, screens, monitors, and other necessary devices to make surgeries as easy as possible.

Operating rooms usually do not have any windows.

However, some hospitals are now adding windows to the operating room to give the surgeons the facility of natural light.

These hospitals also install air filters, humidifiers, and other devices to control the environment in order to make it ideal for surgery.

Sudden blackouts can create a lot of problems for the surgeons performing surgery.

The operating rooms are equipped with electricity support to deal with such problems.

This increases the success rate of the surgery.

Key equipment used during surgery in an operating room includes an operating table, anesthesia cart, surgical instruments, and trays.

There are containers and storage spaces to keep disposables, drapes, sutures, towels, and other necessary stuff. 

Surgical instruments are the most important part of any operating room. In this article, we will discuss the most commonly used operating room surgical instruments in detail.

Diagnostic Instruments

Diagnostic instruments allow the surgeon to diagnose diseases, injuries, and other health complications.

They include sphygmomanometer mercury blood pressure monitor, Macintosh laryngoscopes, tape measure, vernier caliper, collin dynamometer, Magill catheter forceps, Ziegler head mirror, surgical hammers, neurological pinwheel, and stethoscopes. 

Grasping and Holding Instruments

Surgical forceps are used for grasping and holding tissues, towels, drapes, blood vessels, and organs.

They provide a strong and firm grip over the object and do not let it slip.

Hemostatic forceps are used to clasp blood vessels without causing any harm to them.

They help in stopping the flow of blood.

The ones used to grab towels are called towel clamps. 

Cutting and Dissecting Instruments

Surgical procedures often require the dissection of tissues and organs for multiple purposes.

This can be performed using dissecting scissors, like mayo surgical scissors and Metzenbaum surgical scissors.

There are scissors that are used to cut and size bandages. They are called bandage scissors.

Utility scissors allow the user to cut drapes, plasters, and other materials during surgery. 

Retracting Instruments

Retractors are very important surgical instruments.

They allow a surgeon to easily view and reach the surgical site.

They retract the skin and widen the incision to give a better view of the organs underneath.

Special features:

Surgical instruments are commonly made from stainless steel.

However, sometimes they come with multiple special features that make them ideal for use during surgical procedures.

Here are some of them:

Tungsten Carbide Inserts

Some instruments come with tungsten carbide inserts that make them much stronger than the standard ones.

Tungsten carbide is five times stronger and much more durable than steel.

Companies usually design these instruments with golden handles. 


Instruments like scissors, needle holders, and forceps often come with serrated blades or jaws.

The serrated surface provides a good grip over the object. It holds on to the object and does not let it slip. 

Color Coating

Color-coated instruments are easier to distinguish and identify.

You can get them in blue, gunmetal, copper, and rainbow colors.

You can also get the black-colored instruments with a non-reflective surface to increase the precision of the surgical instrument. 


This feature is only available in surgical scissors.

The supercut design includes one sharp blade and one serrated blade.

The serrated surface holds on to the tissue while sharpness provides a swift cutting action.


Super Sharp design includes two razor-sharp blades that make the cutting action smooth and quick.

They increase precision and make the procedure highly efficient. 


Scissors and forceps are available in different designs.

The ones with straight blades/jaws are suitable for use on the surface. 


The curved blades/jaws easily are ideal for use in deeper surgical sites.

They easily go over or under the surrounding tissues and blood vessels.

GerMedUSA Inc. uses real German stainless steel to manufacture premium-grade operating room surgical instruments.