The operation room as a hostile environment for surgeons: physical complaints during and after laparoscopy.Minim Invasive Ther Allied Technol. 2010 Apr; 19(2):105-9.MI
Due to suboptimal ergonomic conditions during laparoscopic procedures, surgeons are exposed to physical strain on the upper extremity. The primary objective of this study was to assess the prevalence of physical complaints among laparoscopic surgeons and to assess the factors that influence these complaints. A questionnaire was distributed in a university hospital to all surgeons who perform laparoscopic procedures. Participants were asked to answer questions related to experience, physical complaints during or after laparoscopic procedures and the possible causes of their complaints. Fifty-five out of 92 (60%) surgeons completed the questionnaire. In this group, 40 surgeons (73%) reported physical complaints during or after laparoscopic procedures, mainly involving neck, lower back, shoulders and thumbs. Significantly more surgeons reported complaints in the dominant upper extremity compared to the non-dominant side. Poor table height adjustment, bad monitor positioning and suboptimal design of instrument handles were reported as important causes of complaints. Physical complaints of the dominant upper extremity are common among laparoscopic surgeons, especially less experienced surgeons. The dominant upper extremity appears to be more involved than the non-dominant side. More awareness and implementation of ergonomic guidelines is needed.