Kelly Forceps: History, Uses, Types, And a Brief Comparison

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After scissors, forceps are the second most important instrument for surgeons. Basically, forceps come under the category of clamping and handling instruments. There are several types and variations of these instruments depending upon a number of factors. 

In dentistry, the most famous forceps are the dental extraction forceps used in tooth removal procedures. However, there is a number of other forceps that aid dental professionals in several surgeries.

For instance, kelly forceps are the clamping forceps that are helpful in holding and gripping the blood vessels. These scissors-like special forceps feature serrated jaws to ensure a firm but gentle grip on the tissues and vessels. 

In this article, we’ll briefly discuss the Kelly clamping forceps, regarding their history, types, uses, and comparison with the other dental forceps. 

History Of Kelly Forceps

An American Gynecologist, Howard Atwood Kelly (February 20, 1858 – January 12, 1943), invented Kelly Clamping Forceps.  So the name of the instrument comes from the third name of its designer. Professor Astwood designed these forceps when he was working at John Hopkins Hospital.

For these unique instruments, surgeons also use the term “ Mosquito Forceps” and “ or Rochester forceps”..”

Structural Features Of the Kelly/Mosquito Forceps

The ergonomic structure of the kelly surgery forceps makes them suitable for clamping larger blood vessels and tissues. The important structural features of these forceps include curved or straight jaws, finger ring handle, and a ratchet-lock mechanism.

The jaws of these clamping instruments are so designed that there’s no chance of damaging the nearby structures or soft tissues. Moreover, these have a firm but gentle grip on the blood vessels. 

Apart from that, the finger ring handle makes it easier to open or close the forceps. Additionally, this handle design improves surgeons’ hand control during the procedure. 

Furthermore, the ratchet-lock mechanism between the handle shanks locks and keeps the forceps in their place during longer procedures. 

Uses Of Kelly Dental Forceps

These specially designed forceps serve the surgeons for clamping purposes in various surgeries. Basically, these are helpful in preventing blood loss in  clamping larger hemorrhaging blood vessels.

The other uses include

  • Clamping of blood vessels
  • Clamping and gripping of tissues
  • For the purpose of heat sink
  • As third hand for the surgeons

To put it simple, the sole purpose of these surgical forceps is to clamp and block blood vessels in order to stop and direct blood in the desired region. 

The scissors-like forceps are used for clamping purposes in different general surgical and dental procedures. Specifically, these forceps help surgeons in gripping the larger blood vessels. 

Moreover, these are ideal for manipulating heavy tissues in various surgeries. Owing to the ratchet-lock mechanism, surgeons prefer to use these forceps in procedures that take longer to complete.

So the ultimate use of kelly dental forceps is to clamp the blood vessels in order to stop and direct blood flow in the desired direction. 

Types Of Kelly Surgical Forceps

The types of kelly forceps depend on their structural features.

Based on Jaw Design 

The major types regarding the design of the forceps’ jaws are as follows.

  • Kelly Forceps Straight 

In this design, the forceps’ jaws are straight in design, which is useful in surface procedures. Surgeons prefer curved kelly surgical forceps for holding and clamping the blood vessels that are not much deeper and are easily accessible. 

  • Kelly Forceps Curved

The curved kelly dental forceps feature angled jaws. These are helpful in accessing difficult-to-reach areas for holding the larger blood vessels. The curved jaws can go in a horizontal direction to clamp the vessels underneath the organs. 

Both the straight as well as the curved pattern of the mosquito forceps are useful in multiple procedures.

Based on Jaw Pattern

Based on the jaw pattern, there are two types of kelly forceps, including 

  • Smooth jaws

The kelly clamping forceps with smooth jaws are ideal for holding small blood vessels and delicate tissues to prevent any damage. 

  • Serrated jaws 

Kelly/mosquito forceps featuring half-serrated jaws help surgeons in clamping the larger blood vessels and tough tissues firmly. The fine horizontal serrations avoid the slippage of the held structures, preventing procedural complications. 

Comparison With Other Forceps

The structural features and special use distinguish Kelly hemostatic forceps from the rest of the categories. 

Kelly Mosquito Forceps Vs. Halsted Mosquito Forceps 

Both these types of forceps are used for clamping purposes. However, these have some structural differences that determine the specialty of each kind.

Compared with Halsted mosquito forceps, the Kelly Mosquito Forceps have longer jaws as the front half of the jaws is serrated, while the rest is smooth. Therefore, they are useful for blunt dissection.

Regarding the use of these forceps, the Kelly Forceps are suitable for clamping larger blood vessels and hard tissues; however, the Halsted mosquito forceps are ideal for smaller blood vessels. 

There are also some common factors between these two forceps, such as a ratchet lock mechanism, finger ring handle, and stainless steel body. 

Kelly Hemostatic Forceps Vs. Dental Extraction Forceps 

The Kelly hemostatic forceps are completely different from dental extraction forceps. The former is specialized for clamping blood vessels and tissues, while the latter is designed for tooth extraction procedures.

Additionally, the extraction forceps have shorter and more robust jaws than Kelly mosquito forceps. Also, there is a difference between the handle design of these forceps. The extraction forceps come with a plier design handle, while the kelly hemostatic forceps feature finger rings handle. 

Get High-end Dental Surgical Instruments

Whether it is about buying Kelly Forceps or any other surgical instrument, a medical professional should consider the most reliable source. There are many manufacturers and suppliers of dental surgical instruments. GerDentUSA Inc is one of them that has been serving dentistry with German stainless steel made instruments for three decades. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What makes Kelly Forceps Unique?

The half-smooth and half-serrated jaws and also jaws are longer than the rest of the categories of surgical forceps.

  • What are Kelly Hemostatic Forceps made of?

These forceps are made of German stainless steel for improved durability and enhanced longevity. 

  • What is different between Halsted mosquito and Kelly forceps?

Halsted mosquito forceps have shorter jaws than Kelly forceps, which are used for clamping smaller blood vessels. The Kelly forceps are suitable for clamping larger blood vessels and hard tissues. 



Author Since:  May 22, 2023

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