Laparoscopic Surgeons Are Hurting
Surveyed docs says ergonomic issues arise when they stand in fixed positions for long periods of time.
Published: February 3, 2010
Laparoscopic surgeons are prime candidates for suffering work-related injuries, according to a recent survey conducted by researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore.
The survey's lead author, Adrian E. Park, MD, chief of general surgery at the University of Maryland Medical Center and vice chair of the department of surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, says laparoscopic surgeons often stand in awkward positions as they maneuver long instruments through fixed ports for long periods of time.
Out of 317 board-certified gastrointestinal and endoscopic surgeons surveyed, 272 (87%) have experienced discomfort during surgery, including eye strain, neck, back and leg pain, headaches, finger calluses, disc issues, muscle spasms and carpel tunnel syndrome.
While 84% of surgeons surveyed changed positions during surgery and 30% swapped instruments in attempts to avoid aches and pains, 40% noted they ignore ergonomic issues. More than half were unaware of recommendations available from surgical ergonomic experts, according to the survey.
Dr. Park says surgeon injuries need to be addressed before health care experiences "a shortage of surgeons as well as shortened career longevity among surgeons who enter, or are already in, the field."
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