Surgical Holdings UK

Surgical Holdings has been established for over 30 years and is a family run business, with over 50 years of surgical instrument making experience and a family heritage of 100 years in the surgical instrument manufacture business, based in Southend-on-Sea, in the United Kingdom. 

The business was established by Philip Coole with an ethos and passion for providing high quality instruments, orthopaedic implants and repair services, utilising our experience, with highly skilled instrument technicians trained in each instrument discipline.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q – How many different types of instruments are there?+-

There are over 5000+ different types of instruments, ranging from simple single piece instruments to more complex retractors, all for different surgical uses, often coming in different lengths and shapes i.e. Straight and curved.

Q – How are surgical instruments named?+-

The nomenclature of surgical instruments are defined normally by the inventor of the instrument, followed by where the instrument is used and finally the type. For instance in the case of the Spencer Wells Artery Forcep, Spencer wells is the original surgeon that invented the Spencer wells back in the late 1800s, Artery is where the device is used and finally, it is determined to be a 'forcep'.

Q – What are surgical instruments made from?+-

Most surgical instruments are manufactured from stainless steel. Preciously before stainless Steel, they would have been manufactured from Carbon steel and plated. This was not ideal as the plating could flake off.

Q – How are bipolar and monopolar instruments used?+-

Both are quite different. With monopolar the current flows through the patient, utilising a patient return pad. This can mean risks of burns is higher with monopolar. With bipolar, less energy is used and the circuit is created only by touching the instruments. Bipolar is generally used in more delicate procedures. Both instrument types are connected to a power source.

Q – Is there such thing as a special surgical instrument stainless steel?+-

No, there are stainless steels which are more suitable for use as surgical instruments, mostly defined as the 420 range of stainless steel (BS 5194).

Q – If a surgical scissor feels loose, does it mean it is poor quality?+-

No, scissors are a hand set instrument. The 'set' itself is applied by the instrument technician and ensures the scissor cuts and performs correctly. The scissor may seem loose, but quite often this is just the set on the scissor.

Q – What do gold bows mean on a surgical instrument?+-

This is an indication that the instrument has tungsten carbide in its jaws or blades. This tungsten carbide makes the scissor more robust and harder.

Q – What does 2 black bows mean on a surgical scissor?+-

This designates 'Super cut'. Super cut is one micro serrated edge and one ultra sharp edge. Often these scissors may also be referred to as 'Stille', as it is thought that Stille introduced this edge originally. The Super cut offers a grip and cut.

Q – How do i determine the most effective way to reprocess surgical instruments?+-

You should follow manufacturers guidance in the first instance, along with any local protocol such as HTM 01-01.

Q – Why are my surgical instruments going rusty?+-

Surgical instruments are made from stainless steel which contains iron and carbon. If left wet, they will rust or start to corrode. However, there are multiple potential issues that could also cause this such as blood/bioburden, chemistries used for washing, quality of sterilising steam, quality of washing water, passivation of the instrument.

Q – Are there any potential issues with laser marking my surgical instruments?+-

Yes! Proceed with extreme caution. Laser marking can expose free iron and if this free iron is not oxidised before the instruments are washed, they will show signs of rust. Take advice from the ABHI or your instrument company.

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Surgical Holdings Company Overview

Surgical Holdings partner with hospitals and customers, using our expertise as a specialised manufacturer and repairer of high quality surgical instruments and orthopaedic implants, using only the highest quality steels to British Standards, to unique patterns and designs.

Our high quality, market leading Repair and refurbishment service covers Surgical Instruments, Laparoscopic Instruments, Electrosurgery, Air Tools, Power Tools and Rigid Endoscope Repair, In our purpose built Rigid Scope Repair Workshop. 

We work in partnership with our customers, offering solutions to their needs. For example, Surgical instrument tray refurbishment service respects the need to carefully manage the hospital budget, refurbishing instruments to an ‘as new’ standard, whilst also addressing potential protein adhesion risk, reworking the surface of the devices, removing scratches and crevices. 

Our business remit has developed significantly in recent years and we now distribute other specialised ranges including Laparoscopic Instruments through Hermann, Bissinger Bipolar Instruments and the Symmetry Surgical Range including the world renowned Bookwalter Retractor and Thomas Codman Surgical Instrumentation, including heritage brands Malis and Rhoton. 

Surgical Holdings have been awarded a place on the NHS Supply Chain framework agreement for Reusable Surgical Instruments, Laparoscopic Instruments and Orthopaedic Implants. We are also on the North of England NHS Commercial Procurement Collaborative Framework agreement for the repair of surgical instruments.

You can browse our products above, watch our company video, visit our catalogue page, or call us for more information.

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Company Introduction

Our Values 
  1. Maintain a Family Team atmosphere
  2. Demand a Clean & Safe working environment 
  3. Be Adaptable to Customer requirements 
  4. Foster Skilfulness and share Education 
  5. Work with Passion and Accountability 
  6. Have Ambition for Innovative growth
  7. Uphold commitment for Quality and Improvement
  8. Deliver full and Accurate information

Our Vision is to be recognised by our stakeholders as the most passionate, reliable and innovative, high quality surgical instrument manufacturer, distributor and service provider. 

Our Mission is to safely and ethically manufacture, service and supply Surgical Instruments for the Public and Private Healthcare Sector and provide accurate information, flexibility and continual quality improvement through our service and product.  
Surgical Holdings is ISO 13485, 93/42/EEC accredited for class I instruments and IIb Orthopaedic Implants.
We are committed to improving Labour Standards throughout our Supply Chain through our Level 3 accredited Labour Standards Assurance System.  

Hermann Laparoscopic

Manufactured in Tuttlingen, South West Germany, Hermann Laparoscopic instruments offer more than 50 years quality and safety, knowhow and innovation, technology and precision.

Symmetry Surgical

We are delighted to announce that we are an exclusive distributor of Symmetry Surgical’s product range in the UK. This includes the heritage of Codman & Shurtleff's Neurology Surgical Instruments, along with the Bookwalter Retraction System and many other known brands. Symmetry Surgical is constantly working to develop new innovations that help clinicians deliver superior patient care in surgical procedures – from access to intervention to closure.

Surgical Instrument Classification

There are several classes of instrument available from Surgical Holdings, from many well known brands. The most common are as follows:

  • Artery forceps - Spencer Wells, Crile, Halstead, Heiss, Cairns, Adsons, Dunhill, Moynihan, Lawson Tait, Roberts, Fraser Kelly, Rochester Pean.
  • Dissecting forceps - Waugh, Adsons, Dunhill, Gillies, Jeans, Mcindoe, Treves, Jackson Burrows.
  • Tissue forceps - Allis, Littlewood, Babcock, Duval, Lanes, Rutherford Morrison, Shaw.
  • Clamps - Blalock, Dieffenback, Debakey, Satinsky, Derra, Cooley.
  • Retractors - Travers, West, Goligher, Miles, Pozzi, Gelpi, Collin, Berkeley, Gossetts, Jol, Balfour, Norfolk & Norwich, Irwin, Kocher, Weitlander, Volkmann.
  • Scissors - Littler, Kilner, Mayo, Mayo Harrington, Metzenbaum, Boyd, Heath, Strabismus, Fergussons, Thomas Strabismus.
  • Needle holders - Mayo-Hegar, Derf, Halsey, Macphails, Mathieu, Rochester Mayo, Kilner, Bruce Clarkes, Crile Wood, Lawrence, Norton Morgan. 
  • Towel clips - Spring, Jones, Shardles, Backhaus, Moynihan, Ball and Socket.
  • Dissectors and probes - Macdonald, Brodie, Watson Cheyne, Jobson Horne. 

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