This study investigated whether using an armrest could reduce the movements of the trunk, upper limb and hand of surgeons during simulated minimal access surgery. Sixteen surgeons carried out two trials of simulated laparoscopic surgery, one using an armrest and the other without. Reflective markers were attached on the trunk, upper limbs, fingers, minimal access camera (MAC) and scissors, allowing a motion capture system to record the movements. The error ratios during operation, subjective opinions and operative durations were collected. The results showed that total displacements at the trunk and shoulders were reduced by at least 25% when using an armrest compared with not using one; error ratios were reduced by 7%; velocity and acceleration in the trunk, shoulder and MAC were reduced. After simulated operations, 78% of the participants preferred using the armrest. The study indicates that an armrest could improve surgical outcomes by reducing trunk movements.
- Minimal access surgery