Scalpel. Known as scalpel, lancet or knife surgical instrument into a small knife, blade thin, pointed, of one or two cuts, used in procedures surgery , anatomical dissections, autopsies and Vivisections.


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  • 1 Background
    • 1 Features
    • 2 Types of scalpels
      • 2.1 Classic medical scalpel
      • 2.2 The Diamond Scalpel
      • 2.3 Electric scalpel
      • 2.4 Ray scalpel
      • 2.5 Harmonic scalpel
      • 2.6 Laser scalpel
    • 2 External links
    • 3 Sources


The word scalpel began to be used in Castilian in the 15th century , derived from the French scalpel, and this from the Italian bictorio, which would have its origin in the Italian city of Pistoia, in Tuscany, through the conversion of the p en b (the old name of the city was Pistorium in Latin and Pistorí in French) famous because in it, since the Quattrocento, swords, daggers, daggers and surgical knives were manufactured, defined as a small knife with various designs, the emblematic instrument par excellence.

It is made up of a steel sheet, usually cutting at one edge, called an edge, and the other non-cutting or blunt, this sheet or blade coupled to a handle, by means of which it is handled by the surgeon. The cutting blade can either be permanently attached to the handle or be removable and disposable, after use, to be replaced by another replacement blade.


Scalpels or scalpels can have a fixed or disposable blade. The blades of the scalpels are extremely sharp, only touching a medical scalpel lightly with your hands will cut the skin. Visually the scalpel models have various gripping systems with many clamping grooves. The blade is normally flat and straight, allowing straight or straight cuts to be made easily. Medical scalpels have slightly corrugated handles and a blade that gradually curves for greater precision.

The edge used in the scalpel, has the latest technology in emology, which serving the community for the first time, contributed these knives to be used in operations. The emos were in charge of using the best of their edges, which were being wasted by the emos, which until then were only used for suicide.

Types of scalpels

Classic medical scalpel


The shape and size of traditional surgical scalpels depend on the use and anatomical site. They can have a fixed or disposable sheet. As they are essentially cutting or incision instruments, they are made with extremely sharp blades, only touching a medical scalpel lightly with the hands will cut the skin. The blade is normally flat and straight, allowing straight or in-line cuts to be made easily, and in the case of fixed blades it generally curves gradually for greater precision. Interchangeable blades or blades have a central groove to fit the handleand they are distinguished numbered by their shape according to the type of cut you want to make. The handles are slightly corrugated or with many clamping grooves and are also numbered from 1 to 15, the most used being No. 3 (also called Bard-Parker or standard), No. 4 and No. 7. The interchangeable blade handles are metallic but there are disposable plastic materials.

The Diamond Scalpel


Created by the Venezuelan scientist and doctor Humberto Fernández Morán, whose blade made of diamond 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 by astronauts. Some goldsmiths use it to section precise sections of soft materials, such as silver. In addition to conventional metal scalpels, there are other instruments to cut or make umlae or surgical dissection, and that due to the incorporated technology allow hemostasis by cauterization simultaneously with the cut.

Electric scalpel


Electro-scalpel that can be of modalities: unipolar or bipolar according to the different types of energy applied.



Ray scalpel

Gamma (Gamma-Knife), X-ray (X-Knife) or proton. That they are properly forms of concentrated radiation therapy in high and unique doses. The Gamma Knife offers many advantages over traditional invasive surgery including. Rapid recovery, since the patient can return home in 24 hours and continue their daily life without restrictions, less pain, excellent results and less cost than traditional surgery.

Harmonic scalpel


Used for soft tissue, the harmonic or ultrasonic scalpel cuts and coagulates with minimal damage using a vibrating blade that oscillates at a frequency of 55.5 kHz. The temperature never exceeds 100 ° while the electrocautery or laser reaches temperatures of 150 ° to 400 °. Recently, a meeting of experts in this instrument took place in Madrid, which was attended by Dr. Pedreño Ruiz, a Murcian surgeon who pioneered its use in aesthetic medicine, who stressed that this type of scalpel cuts and coagulates tissues at the same time through denaturation protein. Use ultrasound.

Cuts, coagulates and dissects The main advantage that surgeons find is that it avoids all the complications of the electric scalpel. Sparks or burns from electric arcs that form inside the body. Furthermore, by converting electrical energy into heat, there is a risk of burning sensitive parts and creating necrosis (dead zones) without the surgeon being able to control them or even realize that they exist. “The harmonic scalpel works at a temperature that does not usually exceed 80 degrees of temperature, while the electric scalpel exceeds 200. Therefore, there is a greater risk of producing tissue calcination that after a few hours of the intervention can degenerate into serious injuries” , points out the head of the Surgery service of the Ramón y Cajal hospital in Madrid, Virgilio Fresneda.

These injuries could include peritonitis or colon perforation, among others. Accuracy is also an important factor. This instrument has the ability to coagulate wounds at the same time as it dissects. This allows the surgeon to work in a field free of bleeding and clean of blood, according to the head of the Surgery area of ​​the Hospital Alcorcón Foundation, Antonio Quintans. “Above all, the ease of handling and the safety of the cuts stand out. In addition, since it produces almost no smoke when cutting, it allows the operation to be controlled at all times and makes it easier to do laparoscopic surgery.”

The ultrasonic scalpel consists of a generator, a transducer, and the scalpel terminals themselves, which are interchangeable and designed to cut, coagulate, or dissect (cutting occurs by vibrating the terminals at high frequency). The generator is the source of ultrasonic energy; it is operated by a pedal and produces the waves that move the scalpel. The transducer is the piece that transforms the ultrasonic energy into mechanical energy; it is placed between the generator and the terminals, and generally has a ventilation system. This scalpel is especially indicated in general, gynecological and urological surgery.

Its use is expanding lately in neurology, traumatology, cardiovascular and thoracic surgery. “Another important factor is that specialists do not need special training to use it. It is used practically the same as the electric one and, in fact, its replacement is being done without problems,” says Quintans. “In Sweden , for example, it is used for 70% of interventions. In Spain we are very far from that figure, but we are getting closer little by little.” More than a hundred Spanish hospitals already have this scalpel.

The precision of the cuts and the coagulation are two other beneficial factors for the patient. On the one hand, fewer plasma units are required to replace possible bleeding, with the consequent hospital savings and less risk of rejection, especially in liver surgery and neurosurgery. On the other hand, the wounds heal faster and the postoperative period is reduced.

Laser scalpel


A laser scalpel is a scalpel used in surgery to cut or separate living tissue using 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, a procedure known as LASIK and LASEK.

Other fields where the use of the laser scalpel is common are circumcision , neurosurgery, and vascular surgery. The use of YAG and carbon dioxide lasers has now become widespread as opposed to much more expensive lasers. For research in the field of cell biology, special laser micro-scalpels can make smaller cuts than a cell. It uses different types of lasers: YAG, CO2, KTP.


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