Article Abstract

Significance of steerable laparoscopic instrument: usability-based evaluation in a simulation model

Authors: Chih-Hao Chen, Ho Chang, Tung-Sung Huang, Tsang-Pai Liu, Hung-Chang Liu, Chao-Hung Chen


Background: Laparoscopic surgery had been developed for decades. The latest trend is to minimize the incision size and minimize the number of port incisions. When surgeons have to operate in the limited incision, interference between instruments will result in increasing difficulty of surgery. In the study, we tested the significance and efficacy of a newly developed laparoscopic instrument with conventional rigid laparoscopic instrument in an usability-based method.
Methods: We used a standard laboratory setting for comparison of characteristics of the instruments. There are 10 surgeons participated in the study. The tests included common procedures that can be performed by these instruments. The efficiency and features are compared and analyzed.
Results: The average time to learn to use the instrument is 3.8 minutes. In 6 tests of common laparoscopic techniques, including using instruments to moving a plastic tube in certain site, to throw a knot, to suture, to guide a string, to cut specimen and to open a candy with foil, performance of the two steerable laparoscopic instruments is similar but both performances are better than that of conventional rigid instrument. The benefits are much better in single port situation.
Conclusions: Steerable design of the instrument is reasonable for clinical use. Steerable laparoscopic instrument can be an alternative to conventional rigid laparoscopic instrument.