(2) Eye knives require even more scrupulous care. The blades must be
protected by suspension at all times when they are not actually touching the patient's
eyes. In some instances, they are tested before use with a thin kidskin stretched over a
drum. The knives must be capable of cutting without any pressure being applied to the
(3) A basic eye surgery instrument set with the addition of other
instruments, supplies, and suture materials as preferred by the surgeon, will usually
suffice for all of the more detailed minor surgery performed on the eye. Examples of
such minor surgery are tarsorrhaphy, repairs of eyelid lacerations, and repair of
conjunctival lacerations. The basic eye instrument set will include:
Self-retaining eye speculum.
(b) Lid retractor.
(d) Knife handle.
Scissors (tenotomy, stitch, corneal, and iris).
Forceps (suturing fine and heavy, iris, fixation, tying).
(h) Needle holders (micro and heavy).
Irrigating cannula (19- and 27-gauge).
HANDLING OF SPECIMENS
Whenever tissue removed during eye surgery is to be either examined for
pathology or processed for storage in a "bank," the specimen is processed as described
in Subcourse MD0927.
SUTURING TYPES USUALLY USED
Preferences vary among eye surgeons both as to the size and kind of sutures
used and the type of stitch used. Therefore, the specialist should carefully check the
surgeon's preference card for the procedure before preparing any sutures. In general,
the sutures used for eye surgery are much smaller than those used for operations on
other parts of the body. Silk, size 6-0, is frequently used, as is plain catgut in small
sizes. In addition, double-arm sutures (a suture with a needle swaged on both ends)