Intra-operative suction is a device used to suck excess fluid from a space during a surgical procedure. It is a sterile procedure where the equipment is handled by the surgeon scrubbed in at the time. Common uses include the repeated flushing of a contaminated surgical site with saline and thereafter suction to remove debris and reduce infection risk.
In addition, suction can be very useful in patients suffering from internal bleeding or fluid accumulation during surgery by improving visualisation during the procedure and in turn helping to reduce operating time. It can also be used to help empty stomach/bladder contents when surgery is performed in these locations, hence reducing the risk of abdominal contamination with potentially infectious fluids.