Factors To Consider When Buying Surgical Instruments

When purchasing surgical instruments, it is important to consider a number of factors. They include cost, durability, safety, and warranty.

Low-quality tools can compromise patient safety and increase the risk of complications. These tools can also require more servicing, which can be costly and disrupt instrument availability.


Surgical instruments are tools that surgeons use in the operating room to help perform various procedures. These can include scalpels, scissors, dissecting forceps, clamps, and more. The cost of these instruments can vary greatly, depending on several factors.

Purchasing new or used surgical equipment is an important decision for any healthcare facility. Buying high-quality surgical instruments can save money in the long run, while also improving the safety and efficiency of your operation.

There are many factors that can affect the price of these devices, including their technology, brand, and material. The best manufacturers will produce surgical tools that are crafted with longevity in mind, using stainless steel or other durable metals to ensure their performance, durability, and safety.

For example, ceramic-coated surgical tools have four to five times more surface hardness than stainless steel, providing increased resistance to rust and corrosion. They’re also more hygienic and reduce abrasions caused by a sharp blade.

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology found that instrument reprocessing can be costly. Reprocessing, which includes maintenance, packaging, labor, and high-level disinfection, costs between $0.51 to $0.77 per instrument. This amount can be more than doubled when all trays are included in the process.

Another major cost factor is the number of surgical sets in inventory. An ineffective instrument set standardization leads to unnecessary duplication and waste of inventory space in the operating room and sterile processing department. Moreover, the use of unstandardized sets may increase variability in care and negatively impact patient outcomes.

The Surgical Set IQTM solution from Symmetry Surgical addresses these concerns. This solution conducts complex analyses to identify and prioritize set standardization opportunities. The system uses cleansed and normalized data to analyze each surgical set in an active inventory and compares its instrument type and count against all other sets in the inventory. This helps facilities efficiently reduce inventory costs, improve efficiency, and reduce variation in care.

Thomas Jefferson Health System, an 18-hospital system with 50+ outpatient and urgent care locations, struggled with tray build-up and waste issues. They were adding items to trays for “just in case” situations, and not monitoring utilization or tracking underutilized items. This led to overcrowded trays that required a large amount of processing time and cost. The standardized tray approach has helped them reduce these costs.


Durable surgical instruments are used to perform a variety of tasks during an operation. These include scissors, scalpels, and forceps that help surgeons cut, grasp, dissect, or hold tissues during surgery. Some of these instruments are made of stainless steel, which is a ferrous alloy that is resistant to corrosion.

Instruments can last for several years if they are properly cared for. They need to be thoroughly cleaned, lubricated, and inspected before use. In addition, they should be reprocessed to remove bioburden and residues that may be present on the surfaces.

Besides the usual cleaning procedures, it is important to keep track of instruments in a hospital’s inventory. This will allow for a smooth surgical program, and it can save money in the long run by not having to replace instruments that are unused.

Another way to ensure that your instruments are durable is to make sure that they’re manufactured to strict standards. These standards, which are part of the ASTM standards, have been developed to ensure that medical equipment is safe and reliable.

For example, the ASTM standard for a blade requires that it has a hardness of 58 to 60 degrees and a thickness of 10 to 14 millimeters. The blade should also be made of stainless steel, which helps to ensure durability.

These standards are designed to protect patients and surgeons alike from harm. They help to reduce the number of accidents, as well as to ensure that surgical instruments are safe and reusable.

In addition to these standards, it is important for surgeons to be aware of their own responsibilities when it comes to the quality of the instruments they use. Some common mistakes surgeons make when using surgical instruments can lead to injury or even death.

For example, some surgeons will mistakenly use the wrong scissors when cutting tissue. The wrong scissors can cause cuts that are too deep or that are crooked, which could result in an infection or serious injury to the patient. They can also make it difficult for the doctor to identify the area that is being operated on.


Surgical site infections are the leading cause of death in patients receiving surgery and account for a fifth of all healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). These infections can cause an array of health problems for patients, including pain, fever, nausea, vomiting, and even kidney failure. Moreover, they can lead to hospitalizations and increased costs for patients and their healthcare providers.

Because of the nature of the surgery, surgical instruments must be sterile in order to avoid infection. However, it can be difficult to ensure that all surgical instruments are sterile before they are used. This is because of the complexity of the cleaning and sterilization process, which is often performed at several different times during the procedure.

This is why many hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers use disposable surgical instruments. These instruments are usually made from plastic and come with a disposal bag that can be filled with waste after each use. This reduces the risk of infection and allows the device to be discarded and not used again.

Although disposable instruments can save hospitals money, there is still a concern about their safety. For example, some instruments are made of lower-quality material than reusable devices and can develop pitting or oxidation when they are reprocessed. This can change the device’s physical characteristics, which can compromise its functionality and performance.

Additionally, the materials in some disposable instruments can be contaminated by blood or other body fluids, which could lead to infections. This is why it’s important to make sure that all medical instruments are inspected before they are used.

These inspections can help prevent instrument hazards from entering the sterile field and causing harm to patients. Joint Commission surveyors are constantly identifying these types of hazards, and they should be addressed immediately to protect patient health.

One of the most common problems Joint Commission surveyors find is that staff do not follow procedures to ensure that instruments have been properly cleaned and inspected before they are used. This can lead to a wide range of problems, from contamination to poor workmanship and design.

Some of these hazards can be prevented by training users on the proper use of instruments and devices. Other issues can be avoided by developing effective maintenance and refurbishment processes.


In the healthcare industry, the warranty of surgical instruments can be a key consideration when making decisions about which products to buy. This decision is important because it can impact hospital costs and affect the quality of patient care.

Generally, it is best to avoid purchasing items that are not guaranteed under warranty. This includes disposable equipment such as retractors, scissors, forceps, and dressings. However, it is also a good idea to invest in quality tools that will last for years and require minimal maintenance.

Another benefit of buying reusable surgical instruments is that they reduce the time and money involved in sterilization. In addition, they can help to prevent cross-contamination between surgeries.

Some manufacturers offer limited warranties on their products. These may include one-year or limited-life warranties. These warranties are generally only valid if the product is used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines.

If a product is found to be defective in material or workmanship during the warranty period, it will be repaired or replaced at the discretion of the manufacturer. In addition, these warranties do not cover damages that result from misuse or improper cleaning, as well as damage incurred during a fire, flood, or other act of nature.

When a product is determined to be defective, it must be returned to the manufacturer within 30 days of purchase. Any instrument returned to us that is found to be defective by our experts will be refurbished or replaced at no charge.

In addition, we are happy to offer our customers a satisfaction guarantee with most instruments. Our goal is to make sure you and your surgeons are satisfied with our products, so if you are not entirely pleased with any of our products, we will accept returns for a full credit or refund.

It is also essential to use a high-quality company that can provide excellent service and support for its instruments. This means having a supplier that is readily available to help you answer questions, provide support and resolve any problems that may arise with your surgical instruments.