A study of the visual symptoms in two-dimensional versus three-dimensional laparoscopy

Michael El Boghdady (Lead / Corresponding author), Gobinath Ramakrishnan, Afshin Alijani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
216 Downloads (Pure)


Aim: There are reports of visual strains and associated symptoms when operating in a 3D laparoscopic environment. We aimed to study the extent of visual symptoms seen in 3D versus conventional 2D imaging in volunteers performing laparoscopic tasks and study the effect of eye exercises on 3D laparoscopy.

Methods: Twenty four consented laparoscopic novices were required to undergo a visual acuity test (Snellen chart) and eye deviation test (Maddox Wing). A battery of specific isolated laparoscopic tasks lasting 30 min was developed to test their ability to detect changes in 2D and 3D environments separately. Before and after the 2D and 3D laparoscopic tasks, subjects were asked to complete a standardised questionnaire designed to scale (from 0 to 10) their visual symptoms (blurred vision, difficulty in refocusing from one distance to another, irritated or burning eyes, dry eyes, eyestrain, headache and dizziness). Participants who underwent 3D laparoscopic tasks were randomized into two groups, those who received two minutes eye exercises before performing the tasks and those who didn't. Independent t-test was used for the statistical analysis of this study.

Results: Visual symptoms and eye strain were significant in 2D (p < 0.01) and difficulty in refocusing from one distance to another was significant in 3D laparoscopic imaging (p < 0.05). There was no significant effect of the simple eye exercises on relieving the visual symptoms in the 3D group.

Conclusion: Visual symptoms were present in both 2D and 3D imaging laparoscopy. Eye strain was prominent in 2D imaging, while difficulty in refocusing from one distance to another was prominent in 3D. Eye exercises for 3D visual symptoms did not bring any significant improvement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1114-1117
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgery
Issue number6
Early online date3 Aug 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018


  • Eye deviation
  • Eye exercise
  • Laparoscopy
  • Surgery
  • Three-dimensional
  • Two-dimensional
  • Visual acuity
  • Visual analogue
  • Visual symptoms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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