Ergonomics, user comfort, and performance in standard and robot-assisted laparoscopic surgery

Surg Endosc. 2009 Jun;23(6):1365-71. doi: 10.1007/s00464-008-0184-6. Epub 2008 Oct 15.


Background: Robot-assisted surgical systems have been introduced to improve the outcome of minimally invasive surgery. These systems also have the potential to improve ergonomics for the surgeon during endoscopic surgery. This study aimed to compare the user's mental and physical comfort in performing standard laparoscopic and robot-assisted techniques. Surgical performance also was analyzed.

Methods: In this study, 16 surgically inexperienced participants performed three tasks using both a robotic system and standard laparoscopic instrumentation. Distress was measured using questionnaires and an ambulatory monitoring system. Surgical performance was analyzed with time-action analysis.

Results: The physiologic parameters (p = 0.000), the questionnaires (p = 0.000), and the time-action analysis (p = 0.001) favored the robot-assisted group in terms of lower stress load and an increase in work efficiency.

Conclusion: In this experimental setup, the use of a robot-assisted surgical system was of value in both cognitive and physical stress reduction. Robotic assistance also demonstrated improvement in performance.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Equipment Design
  • Ergonomics*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laparoscopy / methods*
  • Laparoscopy / standards
  • Male
  • Robotics / education
  • Robotics / instrumentation*
  • Robotics / standards
  • Students, Medical
  • Task Performance and Analysis*
  • Time Factors