Picking up the needle
From now on we will be working under the microscope. Initially we will set it at about 10x magnification.
In order not to unnecessarily complicate the following exercises, ensure that you are working at the center of the operating field.
With a forceps, grasp the thread at one to two cm from the needle. Pull it up until only the needle’s curvature or tip touches the surface of the operating field and maneuver the needle into a favorable position for grasping it correctly with the needle holder. First, touch the needle with the near jaw of the needle holder to prevent it from turning. Then pick up the needle at two-thirds from its tip, at a right angle to the needle holder and at the correct distance from the tip of the needle holder.
Before proceeding, inspect at the needle from above and laterally to check its position in the needle holder.
Picking up the needle – pitfalls, tips and tricks
Avoid grasping the needle with two instruments at a time, as this means quite a high risk for bending the needle.
Do not hold the needle obliquely in your needle holder. This can make accurate stitch placement far more difficult.
If you place the needle too close to the tips of the needle holder, you will have less contact surface and the needle may move while placing stitches.
If the needle is positioned at the very edge of the instrument tips, it could even flip out and get lost.
If the needle is placed too far from the tips of the needle holder, the large contact surface may bend the needle when you squeeze the needle holder. Additionally, the protruding tip of the needle holder can be disturbing during suturing.
To correct the angle of the needle in the needle holder, open the jaws of you needle holder a little and