Surgical blade size : Tricks to remember

Surgical blade anatomy

  1. Sharp edge: Belly
  2. Tip
  3. Unsharpened ridge opposite to the edge: Spine
  4. Slot for scalpel

Surgical blade numbers

Here is a trick to know the surgical blades by numbers – a simple image mnemonic which will require your imagination. We will only discuss blades commonly used in our practice.

surgical blade mnemonic

Blade #11 – Straignt and Pointed like number “1”

  • Used for stab incisions (like in abscess drainage) because of it’s pointed tip.

Blade #12 – Edge is curved like number “2”

  • Enables surgeon to make incision in inaccessible areas.

Blade #15 – Edge is curved like alphabet “S” or number “5”

  • Used for making short, precise (finer) incision.

Blade #10 – The edge or belly is round like number “0”

  • Used for cutting tissues.

Blade #20, 21 – This is like Blade #10 but larger in size

  • Used for cutting soft tissues and covering large distance during intial skin incision.

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