The development of surgical instruments began thousands of years ago and continues to evolve. National and international government agencies regulate the manufacturing of instruments in some cases, and the differing regulations can affect instrument quality. Although stainless steel contains an alloy of iron and chromium with other metal and nonmetal materials, its composition can vary; this variation may cause instruments to function differently than expected. The manufacturing process for surgical instruments is complex, and perioperative nurses should understand the process to assist with purchasing decisions. When making these decisions, perioperative nurses should partner with surgeons, sterile processing department personnel, and the manufacturers’ representatives to discuss the scope of use and plans for reprocessing. Surgical instruments’ functionality can affect procedure
efficiency, patient outcomes, and surgeon satisfaction. Knowledge about surgical instrument manufacturing should help perioperative teams provide safer care for their patients.
Key words: surgical instrument manufacturing, surgical-grade stainless steel, country of origin, instrument selection, medical device.