An operating table, also known as a surgical table, is what a patient lies on while medical staff completes a procedure. Many operating tables are used specifically for surgery, but not every table is meant to accommodate invasive procedures. Surgical tables are used for general surgeries, specialized surgeries, and imaging procedures. All tables are customized and made with specific surgeries in mind to help aid in a successful operation.

Surgical tables can be used in an operating room in a hospital, ambulatory surgery centers, or even a physician’s office. They can be used for many different surgeries, such as orthopedic, cardiovascular, gynecologic, and more. The goal of a surgical table is to provide a safe procedure for both the patient and the medical team. 

To properly address the various uses of an operating table, we need to acknowledge the different types of tables. Some tables are designed for a specific surgery, while others can be used for multiple procedures. Within these categories, you will see examples of surgical procedures that the table is used for and what features they offer.

Different Types of Operating Tables

While every operating table is designed differently, there are a few features that you may see on all of them:

  • The surgical table should keep the patient in place during their procedure.
  • Each operating table should offer a reasonable level of comfort for the patient.
  • The table should be able to accommodate different attachments. Even the most basic operating tables should be somewhat customizable.

Awareness of the different types of tables and what they can be used for may be the difference between a successful and unsuccessful operation. Here is some information about the different tables and their purposes:

General Surgery Tables

General surgery tables are designed to be adaptable since they are used for more than one type of surgery. These tables are used for a variety of surgeries, such as:

  • Pediatric surgeries
  • Cardiovascular surgeries 
  • Gallbladder and appendix removal
  • Plastic surgeries

These tables’ height, length, and positions are easily adjustable to accommodate the unique challenges of different surgeries. Most general surgery tables also come with a detachable headrest that can be swapped out for other attachments. These attachments allow the surgeon to customize the table to meet the patient’s exact needs.

Specialized Surgery Tables

Specialized surgeries generally require better surgical site access than general surgery. They can also be more delicate and may require more maneuverability to check that the patient is in the proper position. A specialized surgery table is designed to accommodate these needs. Examples of the different types of specialized surgery tables include:

  • Orthopedic tables
  • Neurology tables
  • Urology and cysto tables

As flexibility and mobility can be required for these types of surgeries, some tables may come with foot controls that allow staff to manipulate the patient’s position hands-free. A specialized surgery table may also have attachments for arm, leg, and head rests.

Imaging Tables

Many general surgery tables can aid in imaging and diagnostic procedures, but advanced imaging procedures require a specialized imaging table. These tables are made to support imaging procedures and may come with specialized attachments. These tables include:

  • Fluoroscopy tables — used for diagnostic x-ray imaging and imaging during pain management procedures.
  • Ultrasound scanning tables — used by sonographers to produce clearer ultrasound images.

Imaging procedures are generally less invasive than other operations, but the comfort of the patient and the administrator may make for a more productive process. 

Utilize Surgical Tables TodayMedical equipment suppliers generally sell surgical tables, and suppliers will usually have the tables discussed above and any relevant attachments. If you want to buy an operating table, being aware of the type of table you need and your overall budget can help make acquiring the right table for your establishment much easier. Help to improve patient care with the proper operating table today.