What is a Surgical Needle?

Medical needle and thread for use in sutures and wound closure.
A core biopsy, or needle biopsy, involves the use of a needle to obtain a tissue sample for further testing.
The diameter of the needle varies in size depending on the area in which it will be used and the kind of tissue it will be repairing.
Suture kits may include several surgical needles, depending on the injury and area of the body.
Surgical needles are used for tasks including biopsies and sutures.
A certain type of surgical needle, a suture needle, is used to put in sutures.
Article Details
  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 21 November 2015
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article
Free Widgets for your Site/Blog
After their return from the Moon, the Apollo 11 crew had to go through customs at the Honolulu Airport.  more...

November 27 ,  1978 :  Harvey Milk and San Francisco Mayor George Moscone were murdered.  more...

A surgical needle is a needle which is used in surgery. Such needles are usually made from stainless steel, because this metal is strong and resists corrosion, and will also bend before breaking, which can be critical when a surgical needle is being used in a location where breakage might be a risk. These needles are made by medical supply companies, which usually make a range of types and sizes to meet various needs.

Several different kinds of needles are used in surgery. In biopsy procedures, specialized biopsy needles may be used to extract samples of tissue for examination. These needles can be designed in several different ways, depending on the type of procedure they are being used in. They are generally designed to be disposable to prevent cross-contamination and to ensure that samples collected on a biopsy needle come from one patient only.


Suture needles are another type of surgical needle, and what most people think of when they think of surgical needles. These needles are used to place sutures in wounds, ranging from tiny needles used in vascular repair to larger ones used to place stitches to repair skin lacerations. While suturing is not the only option for wound repair, it is a commonly used option, and has a number of advantages. Sutures that will gradually absorb during wound healing can be used, or surgeons can use suture materials which will need to be removed after healing, depending on the wound and the situation.

Suturing needles can be straight, curved, or almost round, depending on where they are meant to be used. Many come pre-threaded with a suture which matches the surgical needle, while others may need to be threaded by hand. Pre-threaded needles which come in their own sterile packages are very popular, as they are less traumatic to the tissue of the patient, and they are very easy to keep sterile, a critical need in an operating room.

When a surgical needle is used for suturing, it is held in a device called a needle holder, rather than being used by hand. The holder is used to increase stability, ensuring that sutures are placed in the right places and that the suturing process is very carefully controlled. Surgeons have a choice of needles with several different tips including cutting, blunt point, and tapered needles for various types of applications, and they can also choose between needles of differing thicknesses. Generally, the smaller the needle, the better, with less chance of damage and scarring.


You might also Like


Discuss this Article

Post your comments

Post Anonymously


forgot password?