A scalpel is a extremely sharp bladed instrument used for surgery or anatomical dissection. Scalpels may be single-use, disposable or re-usable.
Re-usable scalpels can have permanently attached blades that can be sharpened or, more commonly, removable single-use blades. Disposable scalpels usually have a plastic handle with an extensible blade and are used once, then the entire instrument is discarded. Scalpel blades are usually individually packed in sterile pouches but are also offered non-sterile. Double-edged scalpels are referred to as "lancets".
There are two kinds of disposable safety scalpels offered by various manufacturers. They can be either classified as retractable blade or retractable sheath type. The retractable blade version made by companies are more intuitive to use due to their similarities to a standard box-cutter. Retractable sheath versions have a much stronger ergonomic feel for the doctors.
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