Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Engineering Science


Electrical and Computer Engineering


Dr. Hanif M. Ladak



Although teaching and learning surgical microscope manoeuvring is a fundamental step in middle ear surgical training, currently there is no objective method to teach or assess this skill. This thesis presents an experimental study designed to implement and test sets of metrics capable of numerically evaluating microscope manoeuvrability and qualitatively assessing surgical expertise of a subject during a middle ear surgery called myringotomy. The experiment involved performing a myringotomy on a fixed cadaveric ear. As participants, experienced ear-nose-throat (ENT) surgeons and ENT surgical residents were invited. While performing the procedure, their microscope manoeuvring motions were captured as translational and angular coordinates using an optical tracker. These data were analyzed in terms of motion path length, velocity, acceleration, jitter, manoeuvring volume, smoothness, rotation and time. Participants’ hand motion, body posture and microscopic view were also video recorded to qualitatively assess their surgical expertise. Several metrics were statistically identified as discriminatory. These metrics will be incorporated into a myringotomy surgical simulator to train ENT residents.