Objectives: We evaluated the comfort level of our laparoscopy team during and after laparoscopic renal surgery, with or without the use of gel footpads.
Methods: Between September 2008 and April 2009 we prospectively randomized 100 consecutive laparoscopic renal procedures to examine whether the use of a foot gel pad altered the surgical team's comfort level. A questionnaire was used to measure the discomfort in 18 different subjects before and during surgery, and one day postoperatively. The procedures performed with or without the foot gel pads were compared.
Results: One hundred laparoscopic procedures were randomized to being performed with and without gel pads. In 50 procedures, the foot gel pad was used. The mean age of the subjects was 36 years (range 25-52). The mean surgical experience was 7 years. The characteristics of the participants in procedures with and without the gel pad were similar. In the immediate postoperative period, there were significantly more breaks taken (P = .001), number of stretches (P = .001), foot pain (P = .003), knee pain (P = .001), back discomfort (P = .001), overall discomfort (P = .001), and diminished level of energy (P = .049) in the group not using the gel pad. Of the 24-hour postoperative time point, evaluation significantly favored the gel pads regarding foot pain (P = .004), overall amount of discomfort (P = .001), and energy level of the participants (P = .044).
Conclusions: The use of foot gel pads improves surgeon comfort and ergonomics during laparoscopy. The pads have been incorporated into our routine operating room set-up and may improve surgical performance by diminishing fatigue and discomfort.
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