“Retractors” and “tongue depressors” are two different medical instruments, each serving distinct purposes.

  1. Retractors: These are surgical instruments used to hold back tissues or organs to provide better visibility and access during surgical procedures. They come in various shapes and sizes, and they can be handheld or self-retaining. Retractors are commonly made of stainless steel or other medical-grade materials.
  2. Tongue Depressors: These are flat, wooden or plastic sticks used to hold down the tongue during medical examinations of the mouth and throat, allowing the healthcare provider to see inside. They are typically disposable and are a common tool in medical settings for routine examinations and procedures.

While they are both used in medical contexts, they serve different functions. Retractors assist in surgical procedures by holding tissues away from the operating area, while tongue depressors aid in oral examinations by keeping the tongue still and out of the way.

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