Tools of the trade: Lone Star Surgical Retractors

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retractor rings

by Dr Stephen Cutter, The Ark Animal Hospital, Palmerston, NT

These plastic retractor rings can be used with all types of surgery. They adapt to the anatomy and open the space so very delicate surgeries can be completed. The rings provide good visibility with very little pressure.

What’s good about it

While the large rings can be used with larger animals, I primarily use them with exotics—generally wildlife, frogs, lizards and snakes. I’ve also found they work very well when operating on cats and dogs. The adjustable ring is fitted around the surgery site and tiny hooks on stretchy silicon gently pulls back the tissue so it’s not in the way.

One of the benefits is that a nurse is not required to hold it in place. This means there isn’t another pair of hands to get in the way and frees up the nurse for other duties. I’ve been using them for two years and I keep finding more and more procedures where the rings can be used.

A lot of my work is very delicate and performed on small delicate animals. Having a clear field of view just makes everything a bit easier. My eyesight is getting poorer as I get older so anything that provides better visibility is a good thing.

The rings are very easy to remove after surgery and autoclaveable. 

What’s not so good

I avoided this product for a long time purely because of its name—Lone Star. I just associate ‘Lone Star’ with Texas and Americanisms. Lots of other vets recommended the product. I eventually gave them a try and now I’m a convert, though still not a fan of the name.

Where did you get it

Microchips Australia

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