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What is a Gigli Saw?

By A. Leverkuhn
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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A gigli saw is a simple medical tool that doctors have been using for centuries. Doctors use it to cut through bone. The saw is composed of a wire, two handles and a blade.

A gigli saw blade may have small, chain-style pieces that facilitate easy cutting when the user moves the handles. As the wire moves, the blade cuts through the bone. The style of the saw makes it useful for detailed surgical work.

Although new technology has made a lot of traditional medical tools obsolete, doctors still use gigli saws. These tools are often used for cutting through the skull in brain surgery. This saw is also used to cut through other bones in other parts of the body.

Older gigli saw designs were used by doctors for amputations and other common surgeries. Some of these older saws are now medical antiques that may have collectible value. The handles of the older saws may be made of wood, or ivory. Modern saws are more likely to use synthetic materials.

The stark visual image of the gigli saw and its unusual name make it a candidate for use in some macabre kinds of film and literature. Such a saw might also be part of a toolkit for medical students who are working on cadavers. Although the gigli saw is a tool of healing, some people may find it to be sinister in some contexts.

In the range of modern saws available to surgeons, the gigli saw represents the unpowered variety. Other unpowered saws include hacksaws and similar designs. Doctors can also choose powered saw types like reciprocating saws. Sonic cutting saws provide a smooth result for today’s surgeries, and engineers are creating some new sonic saws that can also effectively cut tissue.

One popular feature of the gigli saw is that it is ultra-portable. The saw takes up almost no space and travels easily. Doctors can get replacement blades, wires or handles as needed. The design of the gigli saw remains effective, and that may be one reason that doctors are still using it for a range of surgical tasks. Medical journals continue to mention some of the work that physicians are doing with simple tools like gigli saws, to help broaden the collective knowledge of the international medical community.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon132970 — On Dec 09, 2010

yeah, but what I really want to know is, how did it get the name Gigli, and how is it pronounced: giggly, ghilly, or something else?

By anon106806 — On Aug 27, 2010

wisegeek is the exact website for the biomedical branch of research.

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