A biopsy forceps is a surgical instrument similar to a pair of scissors. They are used as grasping tools during surgery. A biopsy is done when doctors need to check tissue for disease. By testing the tissue removed during a biopsy, doctors can diagnose patients and determine the most appropriate treatment options, or rule out certain diseases.
If the doctor's fingers are too large to manipulate the tissue inside the small incision, these endoscopic biopsy forceps instruments will replace the fingers. They can also act as a third hand during surgery. If several pieces of tissue need to be set aside while the surgeon is performing the task with his hands, biopsy forceps will be used to set the tissue aside. Biopsy forceps come in several different designs, each suitable for different surgical situations. There are two basic types: locking and non-locking. Locking forceps are used to grasp tissue and non-locking forceps are used to move tissue.
Locking pliers usually have finger loops that resemble scissors. The most common mechanism that keeps these pliers locked is a set of interlocking teeth near the ring. When the pliers are closed, the teeth lock and keep the blunt blades of the pliers closed. Non-locking pliers have a spring mechanism that keeps the blades open until pressure is applied. They are used to move small objects quickly during surgery. The tips of non-locking tweezers can be blunt or finely serrated.
The angled axis provides the surgeon with more reach during the procedure and helps simplify maneuverability. The instrument can also be designed with a rotational axis that allows physicians to manipulate deeper tissues within body cavities without making large incisions.
Typically, the bioptome instrument is made of high-grade carbon steel. This high-quality steel allows the pliers to withstand repeated sterilizations that occur at extremely high temperatures. Sterilization between procedures is important to prevent the spread of disease between patients.
Other types of biopsy forceps are intended to be used once and then thrown away. These are usually made of plastic. There is some debate about which type of biopsy forceps (single-use or reusable) is better. Some studies have shown that disposable bioptomes yield better tissue samples, but reusable bioptomes are more durable.