Needle Holder 101: Things You Need to Know

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A needle holder is one of the most essential equipment in any surgical procedure. As the name suggests, needle holders ensure a tight hold of the needle that is used to suture wounds in surgeries. No clinic or hospital handling surgeries, whether minor or major ones, can function without the various needle holders for distinct surgical procedures.

Now, if you’re looking for the right needle holders for your hospital or clinic, it’s important to be as informed as possible about the roles that they play, their parts, and different types. This way, you will be properly informed of their peculiarities so you can distinguish on your own which specific needle holders suit your particular surgical needs.

Here are the essential facts about needle holders that you need to know:


As mentioned, needle holders are primarily used for suturing procedures in surgeries. They allow the person who is performing the surgery to securely hold the needle and do highly delicate suturing. Some needle holders like the Olsen-Hegar, Gillies, and Parkhouse could also be used to cut sutures with their built-in scissors at the tip. Without needle holders, it would doubly hard, even impossible, to properly perform suturing especially ones that deal with delicate body parts and organs such as the eyes.


Like any other piece of mechanical device, needle holders also have various parts that serve different functions. Here are the parts of needle holders and the functions they perform:

  • Jaws. Jaws hold the needle where the sterile suture is inserted. Jaws have inserts that prevent the needle from slipping during surgery. These inserts may be replaced once they got worn down for economic reasons instead of discarding the whole device.
  • Joint. The area where the two shanks are joined together.
  • Shanks. They are the longest parts of needle holders.
  • Ratchet. Located at the handle towards the user. The ratchet mechanism provides a secure lock for the needle.
  • Rings. The rings are where the thumbs and middle fingers are placed to hold the entire device. The index fingers may also be used for added support.


needle holders

There is a dizzying array of needle holders available in the market, each with its unique functionalities and features. There are fine needle holders for delicate surgeries such as in the eyes – Derf, baby Crile-Wood, and Halsey, among others. There are also needles for general surgery, abdominal work, and orthopedics such as Mayo-Hegar and large Crile-Woods.

Here are the various types of needle holders that you may choose from:

  • Baumgartner
  • Crile-Wood
  • Mayo-Hegar
  • Derf
  • Olsen-Hegar
  • Webster
  • Castroviejo
  • Barraquer
  • Debakey
  • Gillies
  • Halsey
  • Kilner
  • Neivert
  • Cooley
  • Mathieu
  • Ryder
  • Par
  • Swedish
  • Metzenbaum
  • Sarot
  • Brown
  • Heaney

It’s easy to get disoriented with needle holders with the sheer number of available types that you can buy. You may simply get a few pairs each of only the actual needle holder types that you need for the different surgeries that you perform in your clinic or hospital.

With all these essential pieces of information, getting the right needle holders that would be perfect for your specific surgical needs should be a breeze. You only have to make sure to buy from reliable suppliers to be 100% certain about the quality of the needle holders that you’ll get.

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