Ergonomic Supporting Unit for Invasive Surgery
Authors: Semra Serdaroğlu Tigrel, Nigan Bayazıt
Abstract: Background: In health care industry, scientific studies and technological developments are implemented in daily use as soon as possible to save time for the diagnosis and the treatment of the patients. Where as the interest of the caregivers are neglected most of the time.Layout of the operating room and the ergonomic design of the equipment used during surgery should be advance in order to prevent disorders and long-term musculoskeletal illnesses among surgeons. The surgeons’ ‘ease of use’ is ignored most of the time until health problems start to arouse as occupational illness.With the development of technology, endovascular and laparoscopic procedures (minimally invasive surgery) are replacing the conventional open surgeries. Instruments used for laparoscopic surgery are longer in size than the ones used in open surgery. The visual interface is a monitor instead of the site of surgery. Surgeons work in awkward static postures. Lumbar region of the spine of surgeons is affected by the torque, which is caused by the departure angles of the joints of upper extremity especially when the arms are outstretched and unsupported.To evaluate and determine the problems of the working environment in the operation room, a survey is carried out on the basis of ergonomic design. Questionnaires searching for the causing factors of musculoskeletal injuries during operations are made with the surgeons. The surgeon-supporting unit was designed to support upper extremity of the surgeons in a seated position to increase their comfort.Methods: Photographs of the operation team are taken during surgery. Static postures of the surgeons are evaluated with model-based software called PCMAN. Angles of the body parts during procedures are found out and 3D mannequin of a surgeon is formed in solid works. The support is designed around the mannequin. Design vision of the support was to fallow the arm movements of the surgeon while supporting them. Prototype surgeon supporting unit was constructed and tested by ten surgeons. Two of the surgeons tested the supporting unit twice during surgeries.Results: Nine of participating surgeons preferred seated position and seven of them said that using arm support is comfortable. All of the participating surgeons indicated that the horizontal and vertical movements of the support were satisfactory. Eight participants said that vertical stability is satisfactory; four of them said that horizontal stability is satisfactory. Seven participants said that horizontal ease of use is satisfactory.Conclusion: Results of the study indicates that the surgeon should be able to immobilize the supporting unit at a desired horizontal position. Control of the vertical movement was by pedals. Since the surgeons are using other pedaled equipment during surgeries, the vertical movement should be controlled in another way to prevent confusions. Overall evaluation of the study shows that working at a seated position and supporting the arms reduce discomfort of the surgeons.
Keywords: Ergonomics of Invasive Surgery, Design of surgery supporting unit, Supporting unit for operating room, Health problems of invasive surgeons
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