A trocar (Fr. "three side") is a hollow cylinder with a sharply pointed end, often three-sided, that is used to introduce cannulas and other similar implements into blood vessels or body cavities. Trocars are also used as ports in laparoscopic surgery.
Surgical trocars are used to perform laparoscopic ('keyhole') surgery. They are used as a means of introduction for laparoscopic hand instruments, such as scissors, graspers etc., to perform surgery hitherto carried out by making a large abdominal incision ('open' surgery), something that has revolutionized patient care. Surgical trocars are today most commonly a single patient use instrument and have graduated from the 'three point' design that gave them their name, to either a flat bladed 'dilating-tip' product, or something that is entirely blade free. This latter design offers greater patient safety due to the technique used to insert them.
Trocars are also used near the end of the embalming process to provide drainage of bodily fluids and organs after the vascular replacement of blood with embalming chemicals. It is attached to a suction hose (which usually is attached to a running water source and drain known as a hydroaspirator). The process of removing organs using the trocar is known as aspiration. The instrument is inserted into the body two inches above and two inches to the right of the belly button from the embalmer's perspective. After the thoracic, abdominal, and pelvic cavities have been aspirated, the end of the trocar's hose is detached from the hydroaspirator and attached to a bottle of high index cavity fluid. The bottle is held upside down in the air so as to let gravity take the embalming fluid through the trocar and into the cavities. The embalmer moves the trocar in the same manner that he or she used when aspirating the cavities in order to fully and evenly distribute the chemical.
After cavity embalming has been finished, the puncture is commonly sealed using a small, plastic object resembling a screw and called a trocar button.
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