Energy-based metrics for laparoscopic skills assessment
Proceedings of the Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBS
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The growing popularity of minimally invasive surgery (MIS) can be attributed to its advantages, which include reduced post-operative pain, a shorter hospital stay, and faster recovery. However, MIS requires extensive training for surgeons to become experts in their field of practice. Different assessment methods have been proposed for evaluating the performance of surgeons and residents on surgical simulators. Nonetheless, optimal objective performance measures are still lacking. In this study, three metrics for minimally invasive skills assessment are proposed based on energy expenditure: work, potential energy and kinetic energy. In order to evaluate these metrics, two laparoscopic tasks consisting of suturing and knot-tying are investigated, involving expert and novice subjects. This study shows that measures based on energy expenditure can be used for skills assessment: all three metrics can discriminate between experts and novices for the two tasks investigated here. These measures can also reflect the efficiency of subjects when performing MIS tasks. Further modification and investigation of these metrics can extend their use to different tasks and for discriminating between various levels of experience.