From the World Congress of Endourology
Saturday, 19 August 2006
O Elhage1, AP Shortland , BJ Challacombe , D Murphy , A Sahai , P Dasgupta 2 1 1 1 11Department of Urology, Guy’s Hospital and GKT School of Medicine, London, UK, One SmallStep Gait Laboratory, Thomas Guy House, Guy’s Hospital, London, UK.2
Introduction: Considerable controversy surrounds the benefits or otherwise of robotics in urology. Sceptic laparoscopic urologists believe it to be just another expensive tool due to the lack of robust scientific evaluation. In addition to the effect of robotics on patients we have been carefully studying its effects on the surgeon.
Method: The Da Vinci robot underwent real time ergonomic analysis in our motion lab. Multiple high definition cameras tracked the motion of the surgeon seated at the console as opposed to standing during laparoscopic surgery. Motion sensors and EMG electrodes were attached to the torso, arms and a head band with continuous recordings during five standardised, repeated laparoscopic tasks in a dry lab to assess overall and specific muscular fatigue.
Result: Due to reduced head and body movement in the seated position with eyes fixed to the stereoscopic view finder, overall fatigue and specifically that of the trapezius seems to be reduced by robotic surgery allowing surgeons to perform complex laparoscopic procedures for longer periods.
Conclusion: It is time to start thinking about the well being of surgeons in addition to their patients. Robotics may just be the answer.