In the operating room, surgeons must wear specialized outfits to prevent contamination. Surgeries are not simple procedures since they are complex and involve saving lives. Surgeons don't wear these uniforms for fashion purposes but to ensure safety for themselves and their patients.

The ensemble helps to maintain a sterile environment and prevent infection. What exactly do surgeons wear during surgeries, and how vital are these garments for the success of each procedure? Let's explore the details to understand their significance and impact on surgical outcomes.


Panaprium is proud to be 100% independent, free of any influence, and not sponsored. We carefully handpick products from brands we trust. Thank you so much for buying something through our link, as we may earn a commission that supports us.


scrubs surgeons surgery wear

Scrubs are the standard uniform for surgeons and other surgery room professionals. It is a recognizable symbol of the surgical team and consists of loose-fitting pants and a V-neck shirt. The term "scrubs" is derived from the process of "scrubbing in," which involves sterilizing oneself before donning the uniform. Scrubs minimize hiding places for harmful microorganisms.

Furthermore, they serve as a protective barrier, safeguarding both the wearers and surgical patients from infections and exposure to bodily fluids throughout procedures.

By wearing scrubs, healthcare professionals create a hygienic environment that reduces the risk of contamination and promotes the safety of everyone involved in the surgical process.

Surgeons should not wear scrubs in other areas of the healthcare facility without the appropriate apron or covering. It is crucial to prevent the spread of contaminants and maintain a high level of hygiene.

Scrubs come in various styles and colors, often following country-specific or hospital-specific policies. This color-coding system aids in distinguishing between different healthcare professionals and their respective roles.


Surgical gowns

Surgical gowns surgeon surgery wear

Surgical gowns provide additional protection over the scrubs, creating a barrier between surgeons and patients during procedures. These gowns are designed with long sleeves and elastic cuffs to ensure a secure fit and prevent any potential contamination.

They are made from synthetic materials; hence they are disposable and discarded immediately after each procedure. This practice ensures that surgeons use a fresh, sterile gown in every surgery, minimizing the risk of infection transmission.



Surgical Aprons

Even though not compulsory, there are specific surgical procedures where surgeons must wear waterproof aprons to protect themselves. These include procedures that involve significant bleeding or the spillage of bodily fluids, such as amniotic fluid, during a Caesarian section and require an apron.

The waterproof apron is an additional protective layer that prevents the surgeon's clothing from becoming soiled and reduces the risk of exposure to harmful microorganisms.



surgical gloves surgeon surgery wear

In the operating room, the surgical team avoids touching anything with their bare hands to maintain a delicate sterile environment. They wear gloves as a protective barrier, preventing contamination of equipment and patients. They also safeguard the wearer from exposure to blood and other bodily fluids.

Surgeons adhere to strict protocols regarding using gloves in the operating room. Gloves are never reused and are disposed of immediately after use. Before donning gloves, surgeons thoroughly wash their hands to maintain optimal hygiene.

Similarly, after removing the gloves, they rewash their hands to ensure cleanliness. Proper glove usage and hand hygiene contribute significantly to patient safety and reduce the risk of infection transmission.


Surgical caps

Surgical caps surgeon surgery wear

Surgical caps are vital in a surgeon's uniform in the operating room. Even after washing, hair can have a significant amount of bacteria. Surgeons wear surgical caps that cover all their hair to prevent the risk of hair falling into the sterile area during surgery.

To maintain a sterile environment, it is crucial to cover all of one's hair with the surgical cap before entering the operating room. It reduces the chances of contamination during surgical procedures.


Surgical sleeves

Surgical sleeves surgeon surgery wear

Surgical sleeves are optional but essential in extensive procedures which involve significant blood and bodily fluids. These sleeves cover the lower arms, providing an additional layer of protection to the skin between the gloves and the surgical gown. Surgeons may choose to wear surgical sleeves to enhance their safety.


Surgical masks

Surgical masks surgeon surgery wear

Surgical masks are crucial surgeons' garments. They help to cover the surgeon's nose and mouth, protecting them from transmission of contagious diseases and respiratory pathogens.

Surgical masks also prevent the transfer of droplets and airborne particles from the wearer's respiratory tract to contaminate the sterile surgical environment, thereby safeguarding the patient.


Surgical theater shoes and shoe covers

Surgical shoes

The operating theater can be messy with blood, bodily fluids, and other substances. Surgeons wear waterproof boots to protect themselves from potential contamination with bodily fluids such as blood, pus, or amniotic fluid.

 By wearing waterproof boots, surgeons maintain a barrier between themselves and the potentially infectious or messy elements in the operating room, ensuring their safety and minimizing the risk of cross-contamination during surgical procedures.

Shoe covers are also used in the operating theater. They provide an additional layer of protection by covering the shoes of surgical personnel. The covers are usually made of disposable and lightweight materials.

Being disposable, they can be easily discarded after every use to maintain a clean and hygienic environment. The lightweight composition ensures ease of movement and minimizes any interference during procedures. By wearing shoe covers, surgeons can help maintain the cleanliness and safety of the operating room.


Safety glasses and face shields

Safety glasses surgeon surgery wear 

During surgical procedures, accidental spills of blood, chemicals, and other bodily fluids can occur, which can pose a risk to the eyes of surgical personnel. Surgeons wear face shields or safety glasses to protect themselves from exposure and injury.

These protective gears are an essential barrier, preventing splashes from reaching the eyes and reducing the risk of harm. In addition, face shields and safety glasses are also commonly used in laser procedures, where the eyes can be particularly vulnerable to damage from intense light.


Signing Out!

Surgeons wear various garments during surgery, from scrubs and surgical gowns to masks and gloves. All these outfits help to maintain a sterile environment, reducing the risk of contamination and ensuring the safety of the surgeons and patients. Surgeons must wear loose-fitting ensembles to ensure they perform their critical tasks comfortably.

Before they enter the operating room, surgeons must take off their watches and jewelry. These items can carry bacteria and potentially contaminate the sterile environment. Besides, surgeons should ensure that their hands and nails are clean and well-trimmed to prevent patient infection.

Good luck in your medical career, and remember, "the good physician treats the disease; the great physician treats the patient who has the disease. "-William Osler

Was this article helpful to you? Please tell us what you liked or didn't like in the comments below.

About the Author: Dinushka Breaker Gunasekara

More, More, More