Types of Surgery Scissors

Written by contributing writer
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Email

Because of its full fingertip control, surgery scissors provide a more stable cutting ability than scalpels and knives. The dual-edged pivot design is highly regarded for its durability and versatility. One of the keys to an operation’s success depends on the type of surgical scissors. As such, many types of highly specialised surgery scissors are available to perform specific functions during an operation. The most common types of surgical scissors are Mayo, Metzenbaum, Littauer, and Stevens.

Mayo Scissors

Mayo scissors are heavy-duty surgical scissors used for cutting large tissues and fascia. These scissors are heavy in weight, and have narrow, but blunt, pointed blades. These scissors are available in regular and extra-long sizes.

The blades of Mayo scissors may be either straight or curved. Straight-bladed Mayo scissors are designed for cutting body tissues near the surface of the wound. Use these scissors for cutting sutures, stitches, bandages and tapes. On the other hand, curved-bladed Mayo scissors allow deeper penetration into the wound that its straight-bladed counterparts cannot reach. The curved design enables the scissor to cut thick layers of tissues like those found in the uterus, muscles, breast and foot.

During the surgical procedure, the Mayo surgery scissor can act as a dissecting instrument by penetrating the tissues with the tips closed. Once inserted, the scissors are opened so that the blades spread out the tissue.

Metzenbaum Scissors

The Metzenbaum surgical scissor closely resembles the appearance of Mayo surgical scissors, except that it is lighter and the handles are longer. Also, the Metzenbaum scissor’s blades and middle section are more narrow.

Metzenbaum scissors have matching ends and include short-curved or long-blunt designs. The former is used for cutting superficial, delicate tissues, while the latter is built for cutting deep, delicate tissues.

Littauer Scissors

Littauer scissors are designed for cutting skin sutures and stitches. One of its blades is shaped distinctly like a hook. This design allows the scissor to slip under a suture easily and avoid the suture from slipping off the end of the blade while being cut.

Stevens Scissors

This scissor is a highly specialised surgical scissor that can be used for tenotomy or ophthalmic surgical operations. Stevens scissors are relatively small, measuring only 4 ½ inches long, with narrow blades, but large handles.


Surgical scissors and other instruments are often made from stainless steel because they are easily disinfected, maintained, and are durable. However, they can often be made with titanium or nitonil. Knowing the materials used to make the scissors helps in knowing how to properly care for them to increase durability and reduce wear.


Surgical scissors are often classified into two categories based on the design of the tip. There are pointed tip, which can slide beneath stitches and blunt surgical scissors, which are frequently used during surgery.

Don't Miss


  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the eHow.co.uk site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.