We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is a Surgical Lubricant?

Mary McMahon
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Surgical lubricant is used in some examinations and procedures to keep patients comfortable. The use of lubricating jelly can help with internal examinations, for example, so the patient doesn’t experience internal tearing and pain when instruments or hands are inserted. In addition to their use in the medical field, these products are also suitable as personal lubricants, and many are available at drugstores and in similar settings for members of the public.

Good surgical lubricants have several characteristics to make them useful in medical settings. They are designed to be water soluble for easy removal, and are bacteriostatic so organisms can’t grow in them. In addition, they are typically non-irritating so they won’t cause rashes, inflammation, and other problems, particularly when used around the nose and genitals, where sensitive mucous membranes might react. It is safe to use a surgical lubricant in orifices, but not around injuries like deep puncture wounds.

These products don’t stain, a consideration when care providers want to avoid staining skin or garments. They also won’t react with gloves, surgical instruments, and other tools, a potential concern with products not specifically intended for this purpose. Health care providers do not want to use a lubricant, for example, that would break down their gloves, because this would expose them and the patient to the risk of infection. A surgical lubricant is carefully tested in development to make sure it is safe for use.

Individual sterile packages are available for procedures where this may be necessary. In other cases, it can be kept in a flip-top or pump container that is used to dispense lubricant for individual procedures. To reduce the risk of transmitting infection, people pump out the amount they need while setting up for the procedure. If they need more, they can ask a sterile assisting nurse to dispense it, or may change gloves to pump or squeeze out another dollop.

Another non-medical use for surgical lubricant is in piercing and tattooing. It can be used to apply stencils to a tattoo site while setting up, and also to lubricate skin during the procedure. Piercers may apply a small amount of surgical lubricant to ease jewelry or needles through, especially if they are gauging up to make a piercing larger. By lubricating the earring, they can slide it through more easily and with less risk of tearing, allowing the hole to stretch without causing significant pain for the client.

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.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a The Health Board researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.