Tools of the trade: Adson-Brown forceps


adsonbrownReview by Dr Seungho Kim, Central New Farm Veterinary Surgery, Brisbane, QLD

Adson-Brown forceps have a really nice grip but for delicate surgery, like the intestine or the eye, I prefer using DeBakey forceps. The thing is, I’m not obsessed with one brand of forceps like some other veterinarians. Some vets always choose top-of-the-range instruments and, even if they only need to purchase one, they go ahead and buy three.

What’s good about it Adson-Brown forceps have a good grip, the tissue doesn’t slip and, if used gently, they don’t cause any trauma, crushing or bruising. They are really good tools for general surgery like desexing. They are gentler than rat-tooth forceps but can still adequately hold skin or tissue. I have tried rat-tooth forceps on my skin and it was really painful because the teeth are so sharp and pointy. I use Adson-Brown forceps for the majority of my surgery. I’ll admit that DeBakeys are better than Adson-Brown forceps. They handle better, the action is very smooth and the grip is gentler. However, they’re about 14 times more expensive than Adson-Browns. They’re so expensive, it’s hard to justify putting DeBakey forceps into every kit in a veterinary practice. If a practice can afford it, that’s fine. But if money is tight then the Adson-Browns are good all-round general forceps for a fraction of the cost.

What’s not so good The forceps can be difficult to clean. Even after they’ve gone through the autoclave, the fine teeth can still have a little residue on them. However, a quick scrub is all that’s needed.

Where did you get it VetQuip (

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