Ergonomic status of laparoscopic urologic surgery: survey results from 241 urologic surgeons in china.PLoS One. 2013; 8(7):e70423.Plos
The prolonged and frequent use of laparoscopic equipment raises ergonomic risks that may cause physical distress for surgeons. We aimed to assess the prevalence of urologic surgeons' physical distress associated with ergonomic problems in the operating room (OR) and their awareness of the ergonomic guidelines in China.
A sample of 300 laparoscopic urologists in China was assessed using a questionnaire on demographic information, ergonomic issues in the OR, musculoskeletal symptoms, and awareness of the ergonomic guidelines for the OR.
There were 241 survey respondents (86.7%) with valid questionnaires. Among the respondents, only 43.6% placed the operating table at pubic height during the actual operation. The majority of the respondents (63.5%) used only one monitor during the procedure. Only 29.9% placed the monitor below the eye level. More than half of the respondents (50.6%) preferred to use manual control instead of the foot pedal. Most of the respondents (95.0%) never used the body support. The respondents experienced discomfort in the following regions, in ascending order: leg (21.6%), hand (30.3%), wrist (32.8%), shoulder (33.6%), back (53.1%), and neck (58.1%). The respondents with over 250 total operations experienced less discomfort than those with less than 250 total operations. Most of the respondents (84.6%) were unaware of the ergonomic guidelines. However, almost all of the respondents (98.3%) regarded the ergonomic guidelines to be important in the OR.
Most of the laparoscopic urologists were not aware of the ergonomic guidelines for the OR; hence, they have been suffering from varying degrees of physical discomfort caused by ergonomic issues. There is an urgent need for education regarding ergonomic guidelines in the OR for laparoscopic urologists in China.