The most common types of surgical tools include retractors for moving tissue and organs back so that the surgeon can get a better view; forceps for handling objects; depressors for pressing down a protruding part; and dissecting instruments for cutting or separating tissue, according to Dictionary.com. Some surgical tools may retain a lot of the same features but include small variations.
Retractors can either be placed in the necessary position or held by an assistant. Retractors may also have smooth or ribbed surfaces for holding a specific type of tissue, explains Right Diagnosis. Forceps come in two different forms, locking and non-locking, for either mechanical holding or handheld holding. Locking forceps are, for the most part, hinged in the middle. Forceps of any kind are always meant to hold or grasp something, explains Study.com.
Dissecting tools can be blunt or sharp, explains the Encyclopedia of Surgery. The prototypical dissecting tool is a scalpel. There are also a wide variety of blunt dissecting tools, including elevators, curettes and the back of the knife handle.
Typically, a surgical team checks to ensure that any sharp tools, especially dissecting tools, are accounted for at various stages of the surgery, notes the Encyclopedia of Surgery. All of these sharp tools are inspected, since a clean cut is imperative to a surgery. Cleaning is imperative to all tools, so that they maintain sterility.