ligature needle

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a sharp instrument used for suturing, for puncturing, or for the guiding of ligatures.
aneurysm needle a blunt-pointed, curved needle with the eye at the point; used for passing ligatures around aneurysms or vessels.
aspirating needle a long, hollow needle for removing fluid from a cavity.
atraumatic needle an eyeless surgical needle with the suture attached to a hollow end.
biopsy needle a hollow needle with an inner needle that detaches tissue for biopsy and brings it to the surface of its lumen; types include the Menghini and Silverman needles. See also needle biopsy.
cataract needle one used in removing a cataract.
discission needle a special form of cataract needle.
fine needle a very thin, highly flexible steel needle with a narrow inner core used to cannulate very small bile ducts to perform transhepatic cholangiography (fine needle transhepatic cholangiography).
Hagedorn's needle a form of flat suture needle.
hypodermic needle a hollow, sharp-pointed needle to be attached to a hypodermic syringe for injection of solutions.
knife needle a slender knife with a needle-like point, used in ophthalmic operations.
ligature needle a long-handled, slender steel needle having an eye in its curved end, used for passing a ligature underneath an artery.
Menghini needle a needle for liver biopsy, not requiring rotation to cut loose the tissue specimen.
Reverdin's needle a surgical needle with an eye that can be opened and closed by means of a slide.
scalp vein needle a short rigid needle with flexible wings on each side; used to infuse IV fluids for short periods of time, in patients with small veins or in children.
Silverman needle a biopsy needle for taking tissue specimens, consisting of an outer cannula and an inner split needle with a longitudinal groove in which tissue is retained when the needle is withdrawn.
skinny needle fine needle.
spatula needle a minute needle with a flat or slightly curved concave surface that does not cut or pierce.
stop needle one with a shoulder that prevents too deep penetration.
swaged needle a needle with no eye, having suture attached to a hollow end.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.


A pointed instrument for stitching, ligaturing, puncturing, or cannulating. It may be straight, half-curved, full-curved, semicircular, double-curved (sometimes called “S-” or sigmoid-shaped), double-ended, sharp or blunt-tipped, solid, or hollow. Cutting edge and round point are the two classifications of needles. Cutting edge needles are used in skin and dense tissue, while round point needles are used for more delicate operations, esp. on soft tissues. When a needle is used for stitching, the suture material may be attached via an eye, french eye, or more commonly, a swedged-on which is easily detachable.

aneurysm needle

A blunt, curved needle with an eye in the tip used for passing a suture around a vessel.

aspirating needle

A needle, usually fitted to a syringe, for withdrawing fluids from a cavity.

atraumatic needle

Pencil-point needle.

cataract needle

A needle used in removing a cataract.

discission needle

A special cataract needle for making multiple cuts into the lens capsule.

Hagedorn needle

See: Hagedorn needle

hypodermic needle

A hollow needle of varying length and diameter used for intradermal, subcutaneous, intramuscular, and intravenous injection.

knife needle

A narrow, needle-pointed knife.

ligature needle

Aneurysm needle.

obturator needle

A device that fits into the lumen of a needle to prevent blockage during the puncture procedure.

pencil-point needle

A needle with a tapered tip that does not damage tissue as much as a beveled needle. Pencil-point needles are commonly used in lumbar puncture to reduce leakage of cerebrospinal fluid from the subarachnoid space.
Synonym: atraumatic needle

radium needle

A slender tissue implant containing radium that is used to treat internal malignancies.

Reverdin needle

See: Reverdin needle

Rosen needle

See: Rosen needle

scalp vein needle

A specially designed needle for the administration of intravenous fluids, with a flat flange on each side to facilitate anchoring it after its placement in a small vein.

stop needle

A needle with an eye at its tip, with a flange or shelf extending out from its shank end that prevents the needle from being inserted farther than the shelf.

Tuohy needle

See: Tuohy needle
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