Making a Point: Surgical Needles, Post Mortem Needles and More
Medical needles are designed in many different styles to accommodate the needs of physicians, surgeons and veterinarians who are penetrating or cutting tissues during suturing. There are also specially designed trocar needles used for procedures requiring the puncturing of the wall of the abdomen or other body cavities.
Anatomy of a Needle
Every needle has an anatomy:
Needle point – cutting or tapered; triangular, round bodied, cutting needle, tapered, reverse cutting, trocar point, spatula, blunt point, etc.
Taper ratio – length of the point to the rest of the needle
Swage – groove or ridge that holds sutures
Shape – straight, S-shape, half-curved, curved, etc. plus the specially designed trocar needle
Needle eye – closed eye, swaged, split or spring eye
The simple needles are not so simple when they are surgical needles or post mortem needles which are extra heavy duty non-sterile needles with a half curve or double edge and ridges for gripping.
Choosing the Ideal Needle
The needle needs to be sharp enough to penetrate skin or other tissues with the minimum amount of effort. That means is must be flexible enough to bend during usage, but rigid enough to not easily break. Needles are made of stainless steel and are designed to minimize the trauma of penetrating or cutting tissue.
The characteristics of high quality surgical needles to consider are:
Sharpness of the point
Diameter of the needle body should be close to the diameter of the suture material
Needle point shape (geometry) is suitable for the procedure, i.e. taper point for easy-to-penetrate tissues, cutting needles for tougher tissues, etc.
Needle body is easily grasped by the person
Ease of use – i.e. curved needles require less space compared to straight needles
The technical experts at MSEC can provide assistance with selecting the appropriate surgeons needles that are the best fit in shape and size, whether for use in a medical facility, autopsy room, or veterinary facility.