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Ann R Coll Surg Engl. 2009 September; 91(6): 524.
PMCID: PMC2966220
Technical Notes and Tips
Bruce Campbell, Section Editor

Suction Retractor: A Useful Aid for Deep Plane Dissections

Deep plane dissection without an assistant can be challenging during operations such as axillary dissection or during the creation of a sub-mammary pocket for breast implants. The surgeon needs to retract, suction, dissect and perform haemostasis at the same time. We propose a simple technique utilising Steri-Strips (3M Health Care) to secure a flexible suction catheter to a Langenbeck retractor (Fig. 1). This allows autosuction of bleeding and diathermy smoke during retraction, whilst reducing the number of instruments impeding the surgeon's vision in the deep operating field. This can free up the surgeon's other hand to perform haemostasis or dissection.

Figure 1
Suction retractor – flexible suction catheter secured to a Langenbeck retractor using Steri-Strips.

Articles from Annals of The Royal College of Surgeons of England are provided here courtesy of The Royal College of Surgeons of England