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Scissors

- Micro Dissecting Spring Scissors
- Micro Dissecting Scissors
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- Cartilage Scissors
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Scissors Reference Documents

FAQ's
What are the finest micro dissecting scissors?
What are the finest spring scissors?
What is a Sure Cut (SC) scissor?
Why do some Roboz scissors have gold or black handles?
What is the advantage of tungsten carbide scissors over stainless steel scissors?
Why do some scissors have the suffix "SC" in the item number?
What are the best scissors for cutting suture material?
What are Perma-Set Scissors?
What is the best scissor for cutting bone or cartilage?
What does "angled on edge" mean?
What does "angled on flat" mean?
How long does it take to sterilize my instruments in the Germinator 500?
My scissors are becoming stiff and hard to use. How do I improve their action?
Why do two instruments with the same catalog number sometimes have slightly different lengths or other dimensions?
Tech Notes
Ceramic Coated Scissors
Sure Cut Scissors
Isolating Primary Mouse Hepatocytes
Procedures for S/S, S/B, and B/B scissors
Rhoton Forceps & Scissors
Cleaning the hinged area of a surgical instrument
Stainless Steel Qualities
Stainless Steel, Passivation, and Polishing of Surgical Instruments.
Cleaning & Sterilizing Techniques
Staining of Surgical Instruments

FAQ's
These are all common questions that we receive from our customers. If you have a question about any of our products, please email us at: info@roboz.com

What are the finest micro dissecting scissors?

Roboz Surgical sells many fine micro dissecting scissors. The RS-5604 and RS-5605 are the finest with "needle point" tips. These scissors are recommended for microscopic dissection. The RS-5852, RS-5853, RS-5840, RS-5841, RS-5880, and RS-5881 all have fine tips as well. You can browse our full selection of fine scissors in our new online store.

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What are the finest spring scissors?

Roboz Surgical sells many fine spring scissors. The Vannas spring scissors are generally the smallest scissors available. The smallest cutting edge is 3mm, available on several different scissor configurations (see the RS-5604, RS-5605, RS-5610,and RS-5611). The smallest combined tip width is 0.2mm (available on the RS-5620 and RS-5621). The RS-5604 and RS-5605 are recommended for microscopic dissection

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What is a Sure Cut scissor?

A Sure Cut scissor, easily identifiable by it's black rings, has one serrated blade and one bevel honed blade. This design allows for a smooth, clean cut and the blade keeps a sharp edge longer than other scissor designs. Sure Cut scissors are available in a variety of patterns including Mayo, Metzenbaum, and Micro Dissecting. Roboz also offers Sure Cut scissors with a carbide insert. The carbide insert will allow the blade to stay sharper a lot longer. The sharpest scissor that will keep its edge the longest is a Sure Cut scissor with a carbide insert. For example, the RS-5914SC.

WARNING: Sure Cut scissors must not be used for cutting wire, thread, or other hard objects. They should also not be used for cutting hair, fur, or tendons as this may irreversibly damage the blades.

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Why do some Roboz scissors have gold or black handles?

In addition to regular scissor designs Roboz also supplies scissors with tungsten carbide blades or with the Sure Cut design. The handle colors differentiate these special scissors from other scissors. In the past only a gold coating was used. Currently either gold or black is used.

A black ring handle identifies that scissor as a Sure Cut scissor. This is a special scissor design that incorporates a razor edge on one blade and a serrated blade on the other. This design makes it easy to cut soft tissue without crushing. A Sure-cut scissor creates a sharp, clean, smooth cut.

A scissor with two gold ring handles has tungsten carbide inserts on the blade edge. Carbide is a very hard metal that will maintain a sharp edge much longer than stainless steel. It is preferred for use in cutting cartilage and fur.

Roboz offers carbide instruments in forceps and needle holders as well. These instruments also are identified by gold handles.

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What is the advantage of tungsten carbide scissors over stainless steel scissors?

Tungsten Carbide is up to five times harder than stainless steel. Scissors blades with TC inserts on the cutting edges last much longer than stainless steel blades. Tungsten Carbide is good for cutting cartilage or for many repeated cuts such as in necropsy studies. Roboz offers many styles of Tungsten Carbide scissors. Tungsten Carbide inserts are also available in needle holders. Please consult our catalog for the pattern that will fit your needs.

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Why do some scissors have the suffix "SC" in the item number?

The suffix "SC" refers to the "Sure Cut" scissor pattern. This pattern provides one serrated blade and one bevel honed blade that give a smooth, clean cut while keeping a sharp edge. Learn more by reading the "Sure Cut" FAQ and Tech Notes documents.

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What are the best scissors for cutting suture material?

Roboz Surgical supplies several different stitch scissors for use in suturing. Stitch scissors usually have a notch that holds the suture firmly in the jaws while it is cut. Without the notch, the relatively hard suture material would tend to be forced out of the jaws as they are closed. For fine suture work, Roboz supplies the RS-5950 Spencer Stitch Scissor (very delicate, 3 1/2" length). The RS-7074 and RS-7076 are slightly larger and less delicate (4 1/2" and 5 1/2" respectively). The RS-7069 Wire Cutting Stitch Scissors are even more rugged.

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What are Perma-Set Scissors?

Perma-Set scissors have a unique design that enables them to self sharpen as they are used. The scissor hinge is designed to provide spring tension on the two blades so, as they cut material, one blade presses against the other, sharpening the surface as they close. The RS-6780 and RS-6782 are Perma-Set scissors.

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What is the best scissor for cutting bone or cartilage?

For cutting through softer bone and cartilage Roboz offers the RS-6940, RS-6941, RS-6942, and RS-6943 Veterinary Scissors. They have one smooth blade and one serrated blade which allows for a sharp cut through soft bone and cartilage.

Please note: These scissors will not cut through all bone; use bone cutters or rongeurs for harder bone material.

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What does "angled on edge" mean?

Angled on Edge is a scissor design where the blades are angled from the axis of the handle. When angled on edge scissors are laid on a flat surface, the blades are angled to the left or right, parallel to the surface.

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What does "angled on flat" mean?

"Angled on flat" is a scissor design where the blades are angled from the axis of the handle. When "angled on flat" scissors are laid on a flat surface, the blades are angled up from the surface.

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How long does it take to sterilize my instruments in the Germinator 500?

Small instrument tips such as scissors, forceps, scalpels, and tweezers are decontaminated in about 15 seconds while larger instruments such as bone rongeurs, large hemostats, and large scissors may take as long as a minute. Please remember to properly clean the instruments with a pH neutral detergent (such as Roboz's IC-1000 Instrument Cleaner) and distilled water before placing them into the Germinator.

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My scissors are becoming stiff and hard to use. How do I improve their action?

We recommend first cleaning the instruments in a neutral pH detergent solution with distilled water. Then apply a surgical instrument lubricant (commonly referred to as instrument milk) following the manufacturer's directions (Roboz offers IL-1000 Instrument Lubricant.)

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Why do two instruments with the same catalog number sometimes have slightly different lengths or other dimensions?

All of our fine instruments are manufactured by hand. Beginning with a basic form, each instrument is shaped and formed using hand tools and procedures, even down to final grinding and polishing. Slight variations in the length and some other dimensions between instruments is normal. It is not unusual to see a 1/4" difference between two scissors with the same item number. These minor differences do not affect the operation of the instruments. Our instruments are made to work perfectly- they should be not affected by difference in dimensions between instruments.

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Tech Notes
Tech Notes contain additional information on the features and applications of our instruments.


Ceramic Coated Scissors

Summary: Cermic coated Scissors feature both Sure Cut and Tungsten properties.

Ceramic coated scissors, such as the RS-5843 combine the best material and design properties ensuring unsurpassed durability and ease of cutting. Their tungsten carbide blades are coated with ceramic. They also have a serrated blade like sure cut scissors. The ceramic coating lends incredible hardness to the material while the serrations grip the tissue preventing slippage. These scissors will stay sharp over 6 times longer than regular scissors.


Sure Cut Scissors

Summary: Sure Cut scissors have a unique blade design.

Sure-cut scissors, which have black rings for easy identification, are designed to cut different types of tissue and skin smoothly and easily. They are unique to other scissors because one blade is manufactured with micro-grooves perpendicular to the cutting edge and the other blade has a bevel-honed edge. The cutting edges of regular scissors are two squared edges. This blade configuration of Sure Cut scissors makes a clean, sharp, smooth cut. There is less force required to cut tissue and skin with these scissors. They are particularly suited for cutting tough tissue. The bevel-honed edge of Sure Cut scissors act like a razor edge to cut very soft tissue without crushing it.

WARNING: Sure Cut scissors must not be used for cutting wire, thread, or other hard objects. They should also not be used for cutting hair, fur, or tendons as this may irreversibly damage the blades.

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Isolating Primary Mouse Hepatocytes

Summary: Isolating Primary Mouse Hepatocytes.

After the mouse is anesthetized, and a cannula is inserted into the inferior vena cava via the right atrium. The liver is then retrogradely perfused with liver perfusion medium and then collagenase-lipase medium. The perfusate is then drained through a small incision in the portal vein that can be made using the Vannas style micro dissecting scissors. The Vannas style spring scissors have the smallest blades of all the micro dissecting scissors available. Because of their small blade size, these scissors are ideal for surgery where space is extremely limited. The digested liver is then removed, minced with the Noyes spring scissors, and dispersed by pipetting up and down several times. The cell suspension can then be filtered through sterile gauze and centrifuged. Hepatocytes can then be resuspended in hepatocyte wash medium and pelleted by centrifugation. After three wash cycles, plate and incubate the cells in 37 Deg C.

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Procedures for S/S, S/B, and B/B scissors

Summary: Dissecting scissors have different tip combinations for a variety of procedures.

Deciding whether you are using S/S, S/B, or B/B tips for your dissecting depends on the application. When dissecting requires extensive cutting deep into tissue quickly, then it is recommended to use scissors with a S/S tip. These scissors will cut through with ease without excessive force.

The B/B scissors are recommended when there is no need to penetrate through tissue, but rather simple cutting is required. These are also ideal when separating dermal layers from fur in animal surgeries.

The S/B scissors are ideal for more precise and guided cuts into tissue.

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Rhoton Forceps & Scissors

Summary: Rhoton forceps can be used in a variety of surgical situations.

Rhoton forceps (Roboz item numbers RS-5260 through RS-5264) can be used in a variety of surgical situations. The feature of this instrument is its long, narrow tip which is helpful in procedures where you need to grasp and manipulate fine, small tissue in deep cavities. The unusual round, textured grip provides great control of the instrument and the tip. The box style handle provides a "non slip" grip for even more control, particularly when wearing gloves. The Rhoton style is also manufactured in a spring action scissor (Roboz item number RS-5693). As with the Rhoton forceps, fine tissue in a deep cavity is easier to manipulate and cut with a long narrow tip.

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Cleaning The Hinged Area of a Surgical Instrument

Summary: Instructions on proper cleaning of the hinged area of a surgical instrument.

It is important to keep the hinged area of scissors and other instruments clean and clear of tissue and other matter. Over time, the small area in and around the hinge can build up a hardened layer of material resulting in corrosion. Once this build up begins the effectiveness of the instrument is quickly reduced.

It is recommended that the instrument be washed by hand using a small nylon brush to remove debris. To assist cleaning, use a pH neutral enzymatic cleaner detergent (Roboz's IC-1000) with distilled water. When used as a pre-soak it is very effective in breaking down trapped debris in and around the hinged area. Then rinse the hinged area with distilled water to wash away unwanted material and excess pre-soak solution.

Another effective way to clean your instruments is to use an ultrasonic cleaner. Both the EC-1000 and IC-1000 are safe to use during ultrasonic cleaning sessions. It is critical to the operation and long life of a surgical instrument to finish the cleaning by applying Roboz IL-1000 Surgical Instrument Lubricant. A light application to the hinge area after cleaning will help prevent corrosion and staining.

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Stainless Steel Qualities

Summary: Stainless steel is a metal which resists rust, can be ground to a fine point, and retains a sharp edge.

Stainless steel is a metal which resists rust, can be ground to a fine point, and retains a sharp edge. Its composition can be altered to enhance certain qualities. For example, a manufacturer can make a scissor of stainless steel with carbon to create a harder cutting edge on a scissor. It is the carbon in the stainless steel that makes the scissor stronger but the carbon makes the instrument more susceptible to rust and corrosion. A quality surgical instrument achieves a proper balance of the material characteristics in order to provide an instrument appropriate for its use. All stainless steel can stain, pit, and rust if not cared for properly. Please consult our web page or our catalog for care and handling instructions.

Manufacturers subject instruments to a passivation and polishing process in order to make the steel as stain-resistant as possible. Passivation and polishing removes the carbon molecules from the instrument surface, forming a layer which acts as a corrosion resistant seal. This passivation process can also occur through repeated exposure to oxidizing agents in chemicals, soaps, and the atmosphere. Polishing creates a smooth surface on the instrument. It is extremely important to polish an instrument because the passivation process leaves microscopic pits where the carbon molecules were removed. Polishing also builds a layer of chromium oxide on the surface of the instrument. Through regular handling and sterilization the layer of chromium oxide will build up and protect the instrument from corrosion. In some circumstances, that is why older instruments seem to be less subject to corrosion than newer instruments. The newer instruments have not had the time to build up the chromium oxide layer. Improper cleaning and sterilization can cause the protective layer of chromium oxide to disappear or become damaged, increasing the possibility of corrosion. That is why it is so important to properly clean, sterilize, and store your instruments.

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Stainless Steel, Passivation, and Polishing of Surgical Instruments.

Summary: An explanation of how a stainless steel instrument is processed and finished.

Stainless steel is a metal which resists rust, can be ground to a fine point, and retains a sharp edge. Its composition can be altered to enhance certain qualities. For example, a manufacturer can make a scissor of stainless steel with carbon to create a harder cutting edge on a scissor. It is the Carbon in the stainless steel that makes the scissor stronger but the Carbon can cause the instrument to rust and corrode. All stainless steel can stain, pit, and rust if not cared for properly. Please consult our web page for care and handling instructions. When manufacturing a stainless steel instrument it is subject to a passivation and polishing process in order to make the steel as stainless as possible. Passivation and Polishing eliminates the carbon molecules form the instrument surface. This forms a layer which acts as a corrosive resistant seal. Passivation is a chemical process that removes carbon molecules from the surface of the instrument. This chemical process can also occur through repeated exposure to oxidizing agents in chemicals, soaps, and the atmosphere Polishing is a process used to achieve a smooth surface on the instrument. It is extremely important to polish an instrument because the passivation process leaves microscopic pits where the carbon molecules were removed. Polishing also builds a layer of chromium oxide on the surface of the instrument. Through regular handling and sterilization the layer of chromium oxide will build up and protect the instrument from corrosion. In some circumstances, that is why you will notice older instruments less corrosive than new ones. The newer instruments have not had the time to build up the chromium oxide layer. However, improper cleaning and sterilization can cause the layer of chromium oxide to disappear or become damaged thus increasing the possibility of corrosion. That is why it is so important to properly clean, sterilize, and store your instruments. For proper cleaning, sterilizing, and storage of surgical instruments please consult our web site under cleaning and sterilization techniques.

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Cleaning & Sterilizing Techniques

Summary: The following are guidelines of Cleaning, Sterilizing & Maintaining surgical instruments.

Use of distilled or deionized water and a neutral pH cleaning solution is recommended for all these procedures.

1. Rinsing-
Immediately after surgery, rinse instruments under warm (not hot) water. It may be helpful to use a nylon toothbrush to rinse the lock boxes and joints of the instrument. Be sure to remove all blood, body fluids, and tissue.

2. Cleaning-
If you do not clean your instruments immediately after rinsing, instruments should be submerged for a in a solution of water and neutral pH (7) detergent.

A. Ultrasonic Cleaning-
We recommend you manually clean micro & delicate instruments.

Instruments should be processed in a cleaner for the full recommended cycle time- usually 5-10 minutes.

Place instruments in open position into the ultrasonic cleaner. Make sure that sharp blades such as scissors, knives, osteotomes, etc. do not touch other instruments.

All instruments have to be fully submerged.

Do not place dissimilar metals (stainless, copper, chrome plated etc.) in the same cleaning cycle.

Change solution frequently, at least as often as recommended by the manufacturer.

Rinse instruments after ultrasonic cleaning with distilled or deionized water to remove ultrasonic cleaning solution.

B. Automatic Washer Sterilizers-
Follow manufacturers' recommendations. Make sure instruments are lubricated after last rinse cycle and before sterilization cycle.

C. Manual Cleaning-
Most instrument manufacturers recommend ultrasonic cleaning as the best and most effective way to clean surgical instruments, particularly those with hinges, locks, and other moving parts. If ultra sonic cleaning is not available observe the following steps.

I. Use stiff plastic cleaning brushes (nylon etc.).
Do not use steel wool or wire brushes except specially recommended stainless steel wire brushes for instruments such as bone files, or on stained areas in knurled handles.

II. Use only neutral pH (7) detergents. If not rinsed off properly after cleaning, low pH detergents will breakdown the stainless protective surface and cause black staining.

High pH detergent will cause surface deposit of brown stain (this deposit may look like rust) which will also interfere with smooth operation of the instrument.

III. Brush delicate instruments carefully and, if possible, handle them totally separate from general instruments.

IV. Make sure all instrument surfaces are visibly clean and free from stains and tissue.

This is a good time to inspect each instrument for proper function and condition.

Check the following:
Scissor blades glide smoothly from open to closed (they must not be loose when in closed position). Test scissors by cutting into thin gauze. Three quarters of the length of the blade should cut all the way to the scissor tips, and not hang up.

Forceps should have properly aligned tips.
Hemostats and needle holders should not show any light between the jaws. They should lock and unlock easily and the joints should not be too loose. Check needle holders for wear at the tips.
Suction tubes should be clean inside.
Retractors should open, close and lock properly.
Blades of all cutting edges should be sharp and undamaged.

V. After manually scrubbing instruments, rinse them thoroughly under running water (distilled water is best). While rinsing, open and close scissors, hemostats, needle holders and other hinged instruments to make sure the hinge areas are rinsed out, as well as the outside of the instruments.

3. After Cleaning-
If the instruments are to be stored, let them air dry and store them in a clean and dry environment.

4. Autoclaving-
If instruments are to be reused or autoclaved:

A. Lubricate all instruments which have any metal to metal action such as scissors, hemostats, needle holders, and retractors.
Lubricants such as instrument milk are best. Do not use WD-40 oil or other industrial lubricants.

B. Use disposable paper or plastic pouches to sterilize individual instruments. Make sure you use a wide enough pouch (4” or wider) for instruments with ratchet locks such as needle holders and hemostats so the instrument can be sterilized in the open and unlocked position.

If you are autoclaving instrument sets unlock all instruments and sterilize them in an open position. Place heavy instruments at the bottom of the set (when two layers are required).

Never lock an instrument during autoclaving. It will not be sterile as the steam cannot reach the metal to metal surfaces. The instrument might develop cracks in hinged areas caused by the heat expansion during the autoclave cycle.

Do not overload the autoclave chamber. Pockets may form that do not permit steam penetration. Place a towel on bottom of pan to absorb excess moisture during autoclaving. This will reduce the chance of getting “wet packs”. Make sure the towels used in sterilization of the instruments have no detergent residue and are neutral pH(7) if immersed in water. The residue of the inexpensive, high-pH (9-13) detergents used by some laundries to clean the towels could cause stains on some instruments.

CAUTION: At the end of the autoclave cycle- before the drying cycle- unlock the autoclave door and open it more than a crack about ¾”. Then run the dry cycle for the period recommended by the autoclave manufacturer. If the autoclave door is opened fully before the drying cycle, cold room air will rush into the chamber, causing condensation on the instruments. This will result in water stains on the instruments and cause “wet packs”.

If you have unusual staining on your instruments during sterilization contact your local instrument representative or look in our web site under staining.

5. Cold Sterilization-
Most cold sterilization solutions render instruments sterile only after a 10 hour immersion. This prolonged chemical action can be more detrimental to the surgical instruments than the usual 20 minute autoclave cycle. If the instruments need to be disinfected only, cold sterilization is recommended since disinfection will take place in only 10 minutes.

Keep in mind the difference between STERILE and DISINFECTED: Sterile- an absolute term (no living organism survives); Disinfected- basically clean.

Always use the proper sterilization/cleaning technique to render the instrument in required condition for use.

Important: For instruments with tungsten carbide inserts such as needle holders, scissors, and tissue forceps we do not recommend use of solutions containing Benzyl Ammonium Chloride. This will destroy the tungsten carbide inserts.

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Staining of Surgical Instruments

Summary: Stains can either be plated or deposited on the surface of an instrument.

Stains are discoloration of metal by material being just added to the surface of the metal. Stains are often mistaken for rust- an actual change to the metal material. A brown/orange color stain is the most common and is often mistaken for rust. The brown/orange color stain is usually a phosphate deposit on the instrument. Phosphate can come from traces of minerals in the autoclave water source, a dirty autoclave, high alkaline or acidic detergents, surgical wrappings, and dried blood or tissue. Hot steam in the autoclave deposits the phosphate and produces the stain on the instrument’s surface. Remove this type of stain from the instrument by rubbing with a pencil eraser (rust cannot be removed by an eraser).

A brown/orange stain or a blue-black stain can occur from plating during the cleaning or autoclaving process. Through electrolysis when dissimilar metals touch while being autoclaved, ultrasonically cleaned, or sometimes even stored together, plated stains actually bond the stain material to the instrument metal. They do not often change the metal material except for the discoloration. These stains are very difficult to remove and should be sent to a surgical instrument service facility for refinishing.

Black stains are usually due to an acid reaction. An acidic detergent deposit left on the instrument during autoclaving might cause a black stain. Always use neutral pH detergents and distilled deionized water in your autoclave process, and be sure to completely rinse instruments before autoclaving.

Multi-colored stains or chromium oxide stains result from excessive heat. These rainbow colored stains indicate the instrument may have lost some of its original hardness after being heated. Cutting edges loose their sharpness quickly when hardness is reduced. Flash flame decontamination ( an instrument is decontaminated by inserting it into a flame for a few seconds) changes the molecular structure of most material adversely, shortening the useful life of instruments. Consider another method of decontamination where lower heat levels can be applied (such as the Roboz DS-401 Germinator) to keep your instruments useful for many more years.

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