In minor surgical operations, when special retractors are not available, ordinary hairpins may be utilized. Such retractors are effective and economical, and may be used in many ways. They can be made self-retaining by placing a weight on the end (Fig. 1 g and Fig. 2). In minor operations they are sometimes ideal: they can be widened or narrowed as necessary (Fig. 1 e, f) at different steps of an operation. If the incision should be widened, the points of the pin also can be proportionally widened, without resorting to a change of retractors; even in the case of certain operations when large retractors are needed, the pin can be enlarged to advantage and a second pin put between the branches of the one that has been widened (Fig. 2).
Forceps, held by an assistant, may be attached to the side of the pin that is not bent, and by