AskDefine | Define trephine

Dictionary Definition

trephine n : a surgical instrument used to remove sections of bone from the skull [syn: trepan] v : operate on with a trephine

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. A surgical instrument used to remove a circular section of bone from the skull; a trephine. (Obsoletely termed a trepan.)


  1. To use a trephine during surgery.

Extensive Definition

A trephine (/ˌtɹɪˈfiːn/) is a surgical instrument with a cylindrical blade. It can be of one of several dimensions and designs depending on what it is going to be used for. They may be specially designed for obtaining a cylindrically shaped core of bone that can be used for tests, cutting holes in bones (i.e. the skull) or for cutting out a round piece of the cornea for eye surgery.
A cylindrically shaped core of bone (or bone biopsy) obtained with a bone marrow trephine is usually examined in the histopathology department of a hospital under a microscope. It shows the pattern and cellularity of the bone marrow as it lies in the bone, undisturbed, and is a useful diagnostic tool in certain circumstances.


trephine in Czech: Trepan
trephine in Polish: Trepan
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