Core Surgical Skills: Basic Instrument Use

Introduction to Using a Scalpel

ScalpelsScalpels are an important tool for performing surgical approaches and tissue dissections. However, if used incorrectly, scalpels pose a danger to both the patient and the surgical team. It is very important to learn how to handle a scalpel correctly, whether using it, handing it to someone, or changing the blade. In this module we will discuss how to safely arm, disarm, and pass a scalpel, as well as how to grip a scalpel and the methods of cutting with a scalpel blade. We will also examine the types of scalpel blades and handles that are commonly used in veterinary practice and their surgical applications.