The hospital in general and the surgery room in particular is a cost-dense environment. Disposable surgical instruments are the most expensive, but they are necessary in some situations, to prevent cross-contamination, but also to reduce delays and respond promptly to the patient’s urgent needs.
The higher price of disposable surgical instruments is also influenced by the fact that they must not be maintained or repaired. There is no need to assess them for wear and tear after each use, nor to clean, disinfect and sterilize them. Convenience is reflected by the price.
However, if you think reusable instruments are way cheaper, think again. Regardless their type, surgical instruments are a particular class of instruments, manufactured according to specific regulations to ensure their efficiency and high-precision even during the most challenging surgical interventions. They are also made from specific alloys (surgical steel, carbon steel, titanium) which are not cheap at all.
Of course, some instruments are more expensive than others. The price depends on factors like the brand, the supplier, the materials and the warranties provided by the manufacturer.
Instruments manufactured by reputable brands are the most expensive because these brands invest in quality and longevity. These instruments are designed to be used and reused for a very long time and to maintain their excellent properties, requiring very little maintenance compared to cheap instruments. They also have the longest warranties and will keep you away from experiencing disruption to their availability.
However, you should always compare prices between surgical instruments suppliers, especially when you buy from suppliers who are not also manufacturers, because you may be able to find the very same instrument for different prices.
As about the materials and the technology behind surgical instruments, most of them are made from stainless steel, but there are more than 60 types of stainless steel alloys, with various amounts of nickel and chromium, which makes them more or less resistant to corrosion – which will be reflected in the price. Some are additionally protected by a thin layer of chromium oxide, which thickens with age and increases the corrosion resistance of the instrument.
Another material used for manufacturing surgical instruments is titanium. It is more expensive than stainless steel but it also has better properties. Titanium is 40% lighter, more flexible and resistant. It has a high tensile strength and it is very durable, even after repeated sterilization (it can be heated up to 440°F). Surgical instruments made from anodized titanium are also non-reflective, which is a great property considering that surgeons work under operating lights and are often bothered by glare.
Titanium does not rust, it is highly resistant to corrosive substances and it is also 100% non-magnetic, which is why it is preferred to MRI operations.
Statistics show that the average cost of surgical instruments is currently higher than $ 3,500. However, remember that the best way to find good deals without making compromises on quality is to have access to current pricing information. Take time to browse the internet and catalogues from manufacturers and suppliers, to determine what you should purchase.