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The impact of patient body mass index on surgeon posture during simulated laparoscopy

By Ryan Sers, Massimiliano Zecca, Steph Forrester, Esther Moss, Stephen Ward

Posted 27 Nov 2020
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.11.24.20237123

Laparoscopy is a cornerstone of modern surgical care. Despite clear advantages for the patients, it has been associated with inducing upper body musculoskeletal disorders amongst surgeons due to the propensity of non-neutral postures. Furthermore, there is a perception that patients with obesity exacerbate these factors. Therefore, novice, intermediate and expert surgeon upper body posture was objectively quantified using inertial measurement units and the LUBA ergonomic framework was used to assess the subsequent postural data during laparoscopic training on patient models that simulated BMIs of 20, 30, 40 and 50 kg/m^2. In all experience groups, the posture of the upper body significantly worsened during simulated surgery on the BMI 50 kg/m^2 model as compared to on the baseline BMI model of 20 kg/m^2. These findings suggest that performing laparoscopic surgery on patients with severe obesity increases the prevalence of non-neutral upper body posture and may further increase the risk of musculoskeletal disorders in surgeons.

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