The following charts identify Surgical Specialties’ needle configurations and the corresponding Ethicon and Covidien offerings.

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Length: Distance measured along the circumference of the needle, from the point to the swage. It is depicted on the packaging.

Shape: Different surgeries or surgical techniques demand different needle shapes.

Point: The sharpened part of the needle that first penetrates the tissue. The point consists of the area from the sharpened tip of the needle to the widest cross section of the needle body. The point determines ease of penetration and the initial size and shape of the hole.

Swage: Connection point of the suture and the needle. Micro teeth grip the suture material and prevent it from slipping out.

Wire Diameter: Gauge or thickness of the wire originally used to form the needle body.

Body: The part between the point and the swage of the needle.

Included Angle (Curvature): The fraction of the circle included in the curve of the needle. This is depicted on the packaging.


Needle shapes are designed to address specific procedural and anatomical demands. Straight needles are used when suturing easily accessible tissue with direct finger held manipulation. Curved needles, ranging from 1/8 circle to 5/8 circle can be used for everything from basic skin closure to cardiovascular and ophthalmic procedures.

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