We, surgeons, physicians & Mohs surgeons, and even veterinarians are not quick to change our ways. Although, round handles remain historically a pervasive scalpel handle shape through most specialties, there are many of us , like Mohs surgeons, that predominantly have not yet made the leap to the round Daniel Siegel “#Siegel handle” or Steven M. Hacker MD #lumohs. Many surgeons, physicians & veterinarians, still prefer sticking to flat #3 handles, even though #aspensurgical Aspen Surgical , #swannmorton SWANN-MORTON LIMITED , #cinncinatisurgical Cincinnati Surgical ical, #southmedic Southmedic Inc , #Mopec Mopec , #Delasco Delasco #covetrus Covetrus carry all shapes and sizes and both are readily available.
A combination of factors keeps some surgeons from widespread adoption.
Probably the most compelling reason surgeons stay with flat handles is cost – simply said, it is much cheaper to buy a flat handle than a round handle. For those of us who don’t let cost dictate our surgical performance and outcomes, there are other compelling reasons doctors choose to stay with flat handles over round handles such as:
1. Fear of Change
2. Lack of Familiarity
3. Muscle Memory
4. Preference, Training & Comfort
5. Time Learning Curve
But, if surgeons can learn anything from the artists and the Masters, and going back many centuries to modern times, round handles have always been the preference.
Here are some interesting reasons why round handles are ideal for both artists and surgeons .
Precision and Control:
– Artists (Round Brush Handle): Artists opt for round paintbrush handles when they need to execute fine, detailed work in their artwork. The circular grip allows for precise control over the brush’s movements, making it suitable for creating intricate lines, curves, and textures. Artists often appreciate the ability to vary brushstroke techniques with ease.
– Surgeons (Round Scalpel Handle): Surgeons select round scalpel handles for similar reasons in the surgical setting. When performing procedures that require exceptional precision, such as creating circular or curved incisions, the rounded scalpel handle enables smoother and more controlled rotations. This promotes accurate, meticulous cuts and minimizes the likelihood of surgical errors, ultimately enhancing patient safety.
Ergonomics and Comfort:
– Artists (Round Brush Handle): Artists are highly conscious of the ergonomic comfort of their paintbrush handles, particularly during extended painting sessions. The rounded shape of a paintbrush handle provides a comfortable grip that minimizes hand fatigue, allowing artists to work for prolonged periods without discomfort or strain.
– Surgeons (Round Scalpel Handle): Surgeons prioritize ergonomics and comfort during surgical procedures. In the operating room, where precision and unwavering focus are essential, the cylindrical shape of round scalpel handles offers an ergonomic advantage. Surgeons can maintain a steady and comfortable grip throughout intricate procedures, promoting precision while minimizing the risk of hand fatigue.
Versatility and Adaptability:
– Artists (Round Brush Handle): Artists value the versatility that round paintbrush handles offer. They can use these handles for a wide array of artistic techniques, including creating fine lines, blending colors, and applying broad strokes. The adaptability of round handles empowers artists to experiment with various artistic styles and approaches.
– Surgeons (Round Scalpel Handle): Round scalpel handles are prized for their versatility in surgical practice. Surgeons can employ them for different types of incisions, ranging from precise circular cuts to broader, sweeping motions. This adaptability is particularly valuable in surgical procedures that demand diverse techniques and incision types, ensuring that the handle can accommodate various surgical needs.
Preference and Tradition:
– Artists (Round Brush Handle): An artist’s choice of paintbrush handle often reflects personal preference and adherence to artistic tradition. Some artists may have developed a strong attachment to using round handles, either because it aligns with their unique artistic style or because they find comfort and familiarity in this handle design.
– Surgeons (Round Scalpel Handle): Surgeons can have individual preferences rooted in their training, surgical tradition, and familiarity with specific handle designs. Their choice of scalpel handle may be influenced by their personal experiences and the techniques they have honed over years of practice. Surgeons may continue to use the handle style they are most comfortable and proficient with.
The bottom line…. #Ergonomics.
Here’s why round handle shapes, like #Siegel scalpel handle or #Lumohs scalpel handle, makes sense ergonomically, not just for artists, but for surgeons too:
1. Natural Hand Shape: The cylindrical shape of a round handle closely mimics the natural shape of the human hand when it is relaxed or gripping lightly. This design allows the hand to maintain a neutral position, reducing strain and minimizing discomfort during extended use.
2. Even Pressure Distribution: The round shape of the handle distributes pressure evenly across the entire surface of the hand, preventing pressure points and reducing the risk of fatigue and discomfort. This is especially important during long and intricate surgical procedures.
3. Easy Rotation: A round handle can be rotated effortlessly between the fingers, promoting precision and fine motor control. This rotation allows surgeons and medical professionals to make subtle adjustments to their grip without having to release their hold on the handle, leading to more accurate incisions and movements.
4. Versatile Grip: The rounded surface offers a secure grip from any angle, allowing for greater versatility in hand positioning. This adaptability is particularly valuable when working in tight or challenging anatomical spaces.
5. Reduced Hand Cramping: The ergonomic design of round handles reduces the likelihood of hand cramps and discomfort that can occur with handles of different shapes. Surgeons and medical professionals can maintain a consistent grip without straining their fingers or wrists.
6. Enhanced Tactile Feedback: The smooth and rounded surface of the handle provides better tactile feedback, allowing healthcare providers to sense and respond to subtle changes in tissue texture, tension, or resistance during procedures.
7. Reduced Risk of Slippage: The cylindrical shape of the handle makes it less likely to slip out of the hand, even when hands are gloved or wet. This enhances safety by minimizing the risk of accidental slips or mishandling.
8. Minimal Stress on Joints: The ergonomic design of round handles minimizes stress on joints and tendons in the hand and wrist, reducing the risk of repetitive strain injuries (RSIs) such as carpal tunnel syndrome, which can result from prolonged and repetitive motions.
9. Improved Control: The comfortable grip and precise control offered by round handles enable surgeons to make accurate incisions and sutures, leading to better surgical outcomes and reduced post-operative complications.
10. Standardization: The widespread adoption of round scalpel handles across the medical field means that healthcare professionals are trained and accustomed to using them, contributing to consistency and familiarity in surgical and medical settings.
While the factors influencing the choice of round handles in art and surgery exhibit notable similarities, it is vital to recognize that the objectives and outcomes in these fields are inherently distinct.
Artists prioritize creative expression and aesthetics, while surgeons emphasize patient safety, precision, and medical effectiveness. Consequently, while there are shared considerations related to ergonomics and precision, the ultimate goals and contexts of handle choice vary significantly between these two domains.