Updated: Nov 18
A few weeks back I posted to the blog a fantastic image showing a toenail spike that had just been removed from a patients ingrown toenail.
The image or photo has created some interest both in the clinic from patients and from around the world from fellow podiatrists. For me ( not known as the “Worlds Greatest Photographer” and famous in my family for missing out heads from family photos) this was a particularly satisfying moment!
A lot of interest was shown in the size of the spike but even more interest was shown in my “snazzy” rainbow coloured tweezers.
This week as part of Deva Podiatry Foot Health Clinics ongoing policy to “renew, replace and improve” I placed an order with Sheffield Surgical Instrument Manufacturer -Heeley Surgical www.heeleysurgical.com for replacement instruments from their Titanium Coated Podiatry Instrument Range.
The order has arrived today and the images above show the instruments.
If you are interested in the technicalities here’s some extra information.
Heeley Surgical “ For the ultimate in podiatry instruments, look no further than our titanium coated product range. A thin coating of Titanium is applied to the stainless steel surface and provides an abrasion resistant coating which is up to 5 times that of normal stainless steel, whilst also hardening and protecting cutting and sliding surfaces. Titanium has long been utilised in the tooling industry to extend the life of drill bits, to reduce friction and to enhance resistance to the effects of corrosion.
Heeley Surgical Titanium Instruments are supplied with a 3 year guarantee against poor workmanship and faulty materials”.
In short at Deva Podiatry Foot Health Clinic Chester we are investing in the Best Of British Manufactured Products available to us.
Deva Podiatry Foot Health Clinic Chester use Heeley Podiatry Instruments for all nail surgery, nail avulsion surgery and ingrown or ingrowing toenail removal.
Heeleys don’t just manufacture the product, they also go into detail within their website on best practice procedures for ensuring that the surgical instruments are maintained to a pristine condition. For a Podiatrist who sets high standards and works to Podiatry best practice this is great news. At Deva Podiatry we are able to take the advice on caring for your surgical instruments and combine it with best clinical practice guidelines for sterilization and sanitisation of surgical instruments.
A forthcoming blog post will look behind the scenes of Deva Podiatry Foot Health Clinic and set out the rigorous sterilization procedure we go through to ensure that all our podiatry surgical instruments are absolutely fit for purpose. For any one concerned about sterilization and sanitization in the post covid world this post, we hope will be reassuring.
In regards to surgical instruments Heeleys care recommendations include the following information:-
It is so important to properly clean, sterilise and store your instruments. How should I clean my instruments? This depends on how sterile your protocol requires them to be. First rinse the instrument in pH neutral distilled water and remove any contaminants or debris. Use a fresh neutral pH solvent and then a soft brush for the tough cleaning. If you steam autoclave make sure that you use the manufacturer's for your autoclave (clean neutral pH distilled water), and that your high quality instruments are not mixed with instruments of inferior quality. Impurities from the lower quality instrument can start a corrosive action on your higher quality ones. Be sure that a full drying cycle is used. Overlapping joints may have dampness within the joint, increasing the chance of corrosion. This can be prevented in three ways; assure the full drying cycle is complete, apply silicone grease inside the joint as a protective layer, or by use of air canister or to blow moisture out of overlapping parts. Instruments can also be cleaned ultrasonically but must be immediately rinsed and dried. It is recommended that ultrasonic cleaning is the best and most cost effective way to clean surgical instruments. If ultrasonic cleaning is not available instruments may be cleaned manually using a pH neutral detergent, distilled water and a soft instrument cleaning brush. Never use bleach to clean any surgical instruments. The high pH of bleach causes surface deposits of brown stains and might even corrode the instrument. Even high quality stainless steel is not impervious to a bleach solution. Apply a surgical instrument lubricant - following the manufacturer's instructions. Lubrication is the most important action you can take to extend the life of your instruments. The use of a surgical instrument lubricant will prevent spotting from mineral deposits left behind by water after cleaning.
Corrosion can also be prevented by the application of lubricant. Corrosion starts in the pores of the metal and is often related to improper cleaning. With proper handling and lubrication the surface of your stainless steel instruments will develop a thin hard coating, similar to oxidation, which will help prevent damage from corrosion. Known as the passivation layer, it makes the instruments more resistant to staining and rusting.
In addition to stain and corrosion protection lubrication reduces reduces friction at the joints, keeping the action of the instrument light, delicate and smooth - extending the life of the instrument by reducing wear.
WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT THERE WAS SO MUCH TO IT?
FOOTNOTE added 18th November 2020
I was recently asked a valid question regarding the quality and source of surgical instruments.
The question was: " Aren't All these tools made to a set standard?"
I would like to say- Yes, they are manufactured to the same standard across the world. Unfortunately that is not so. An investigation by the BMA discovered that in many countries there is an industry of sweat shops that employ children to work long hours grinding and filing instruments for little or no money. The instruments are then moved on to finishing shops, where they are improved and finished. The quality and source of such items is difficult to determine.
The extra crafting and refining that is involved in the manufacture of Heeley Surgical Instruments in Sheffield -we believe justifies the investment. It is possible to purchase surgical instruments online for prices as much as 90% cheaper than Heeley Instruments. However, the quality of these instruments is often sub standard.The quality of the steel is unknown, the plating may be to a lesser grade but critically the finish to the cutting edges is unlikely to rival that of the Heeley Instruments. For this reason you can rest assured that your Feet Are In Safe Hands!