Surgical instruments are used in everything from dentistry to surgery. The production of surgical implements is a complex process with many steps from design to material selection to polishing. Here are some of the steps involved in the manufacture of surgical instruments.
Designers consult with nurses, surgeons, engineers, and distribution companies to create designs either by hand or on the computer. They are then prototyped into 3D models, which can take months depending on the complexity of the design.
Most surgical instruments are made of stainless steel, which is the name given to metals that contain more than 11% chromium. These metals are corrosion-resistant and long-lasting, and they come in a variety of malleability that allows for flexibility in the type of instruments created. There are many companies such as body wire that specialize in manufacturing medical grade stainless steel.
Once the instrument has been designed and the appropriate materials selected, the implement is pressed and forged. Molds can be created for unique designs, and instruments can be forged in large or small batches based on need.
The forged instruments are then treated to increase their corrosion resistance, usually through pickling. Then the instruments are machined to increase symmetry and filed to shape the instrument to get closer to the final design. Finally, the implements are polished and buffed to create degrees of mirrored or dull finishes. After several steps of finishing, the instruments can then be tested for quality and durability.
Surgical instruments require a rigorous design and production process in order to create implements that will last. These implements go through intensive cleaning and sterilizing on a regular basis and need to remain protected and rust-free for safe procedures. These steps ensure quality surgical instruments are made from the best materials to be used for surgical procedures across the globe.