An assessment of the physical impact of complex surgical tasks on surgeon errors and discomfort: a comparison between robot-assisted, laparoscopic and open approaches

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate, in a simulated suturing task, individual surgeons’ performance using three surgical approaches: open, laparoscopic and robot-assisted. 

SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Six urological surgeons made an in vitro simulated vesico-urethral anastomosis. All surgeons performed the simulated suturing task using all three surgical approaches (open, laparoscopic and robot-assisted). The time taken to perform each task was recorded. Participants were evaluated for perceived discomfort using the self-reporting Borg scale. Errors made by surgeons were quantified by studying the video recording of the tasks. Anastomosis quality was quantified using scores for knot security, symmetry of suture, position of suture and apposition of anastomosis.

RESULTS: The time taken to complete the task by the laparoscopic approach was on average 221 s, compared with 55 s for the open approach and 116 s for the robot-assisted approach (anova, P < 0.005). The number of errors and the level of self-reported discomfort were highest for the laparoscopic approach (anova, P < 0.005). Limitations of the present study include the small sample size and variation in prior surgical experience of the participants.

CONCLUSIONS: In an in vitro model of anastomosis surgery, robot-assisted surgery combines the accuracy of open surgery while causing lesser surgeon discomfort than laparoscopy and maintaining minimal access.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)274-281
Number of pages8
JournalBJU International
Volume115
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2015

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