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During a tracheotomy it is necessary to have retractors held on either side of the wound while the operator dissects down onto the trachea. If the patient is intubated before the operation, the necessity for speed is not so essential as when intubation has not been previously performed. Nevertheless, anything that allows of greater speed and accuracy is desirable. Ordinary retractors held in place by an assistant are apt to be held unevenly. Spreading retractors are unsatisfactory in very small patients, as they tend to become displaced. Furthermore, the thumb and the middle finger of the left hand of the operator are needed as guides in holding the trachea during the dissection.
The instrument here described consists of a pair of weights hung from a heavy silver wire loop. This loop can be easily bent to form an angle suitable for retracting. As soon as the incision is made, the
Wesselhoeft C. WEIGHTED RETRACTORS FOR TRACHEOTOMY. JAMA. 1933;101(5):365-366. doi:10.1001/jama.1933.27430300003010c