A nuclectomy instrument 1, e.g. for the removal of nuclear material from an intervertebral disc, comprises a tube 2 with an open distal end, a means at the distal end of the tube to engage nuclear material and to cause the deposit of nuclear material within the tube 2 (e.g. blades 6 or a drilling member 15-Fig. 5) and there being a means to cause the withdrawal along the tube of nuclear material deposited in the tube (e.g. a source of suction 5).