Features And Functions Of Weitlaner Retractors

Features And Functions Of Weitlaner Retractors


Surgical retractors are vital to ensure good exposure and optical access to the specific treatment and its adjoining areas. The Weitlaner retractor is a valuable surgical instrument designed similarly to scissors. Moreover, the surgical tool features a downward-pointing projection at the tip. Weitlaner retractor is a popular and extensively used instrument in the surgical field. This surgical instrument is commonly used in general surgeries, mastoid surgeries, plastic surgeries, spinal surgeries, bone, and joint surgeries, etc. The popularity of the Weitlaner refractor has significantly increased because they offer better surgical access.

Key Features

As a self-retaining retractor, the Weitlaner retractor includes the following features.

  •   The blades are curved for better access to tissues.
  •   The hooked projections at the tip provide secure gripping
  •   Sharp and dual projections for precise handling
  •   Available in a wide array of lengths based on surgical requirements
  •   Lightweight design for comfortable manipulation

Functions of the Retractor

Ease of Use

The prime function of a Weitlaner retractor is to hold the edges of the cut area’s skin, tissues, and viscera. The surgical tool can be positioned at an angle that gives the surgeon a clear picture or view of the entire incised area. This helps surgeons in carrying out surgical procedures more efficiently.

Ideal for Tiny Incisions

Because a Weitlaner retractor is a self-retaining retractor, the tool is placed against the incision tissues that need to be held apart. The one-directional handles are secured by surgeons, while the sharp and blunt blades of the tool remain separate without any assistance. Weitlaner retractors are perfect to get hold of the incision edges and tissues of tiny and narrow incisions.

Surgical Processes

Multiple Surgical Procedures

Weitlaner retractors are widely used to make incisions in the groin to repair the hernia. The surgical tool is also used to make incisions or cuts for orthopedic surgeries since most of the cuts are shallow. Furthermore, it is also used in neurosurgical methods where the retractor is used to hold the skin, especially in surgical procedures like craniectomy. Surprisingly, the tool is used in cardiac procedures like pacemaker implants.

Varying Length, Size, and Age Groups

The retractor can be used on both adults and children. When applied in children, the size of the retractor is 4.5 inches, along with 3×3 blunt projections at the tip. On the other hand, among adults, the length of the retractor used varies from 5.5 inches to 9 inches, and 3×4 blunt projections at the tip. The opening sizes of the retractors also differ depending on the length dimensions.


The invention of the Weitlaner retractor was decades ago, and with technological innovation, it is used extensively today in the surgical field. The best part about the surgical tool is that surgeons can make incisions and perform procedures without assistance. This was also the inspiration behind the invention of this self-retaining retractor. It is widely used in the USA and worldwide and can be applied to kids and adults.