The present invention is directed to a surgical suture instrument specifically designed for suturing body tissues in enclosed surgical operations. The instrument includes a casing with a slot for housing a suture needle. The needle includes a first puncture end and a second manipulation end. The needle is pivotally positioned on an axis within the casing, such that the puncture end may be exposed or retracted as needed. The casing also includes equipment to manipulate the needle within the casing.