Retractors are used to keep the site of the surgical procedure open. Retractors have bent prongs or blades to hold tissue. The pronged ends come in sharp or dull tips. Choosing between a sharp or blunt retractor
Sharp retractors are better at providing a secure grip and they can safely hold back the skin, muscles, fascia, tendons, or the periosteum but they may damage vessels, nerves, the peritoneum, glands or cysts. Blunt retractors are recommended when iatrogenic injury is a concern. The main benefit of blunt retractors is that they prevent unintended injury to the tissue held by the retractor or to the underlying tissue.