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Ergonomic assessment of the posture of surgeons performing endoscopic transurethral resections in urology

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Author(s): Luttmann Alwin | Jäger Matthias | Sökeland Jürgen

Journal: Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology
ISSN 1745-6673

Volume: 4;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 26;
Date: 2009;
Original page

ABSTRACT
Abstract Background During transurethral endoscopic prostate and bladder operations the influence of an ergonomic redesign of the arrangement of the operation equipment - including the introduction of a video-assisted resection method ('monitor endoscopy') instead of directly viewing onto the operation area via the endoscope ('direct endoscopy') - was studied with respect to the postures of the surgeons. Methods Postures were analysed on the basis of video recordings of the surgeons performed in the operation theatre during live operations and subsequent visual posture estimation executed by an observer. In particular, head, trunk and arm positions were assigned to posture categories according to a newly developed posture classification schema. 10 urological operations with direct endoscopy and 9 with monitor endoscopy were included. Results Application of direct endoscopy coincides with distinct lateral and sagittal trunk and head inclinations, trunk torsion and strong forearm and upper arm elevations of the surgeons whereas operations with monitor endoscopy were performed with an almost upright head and trunk and hanging arms. The disadvantageous postures observed during direct endoscopy are mainly caused by the necessity to hold the endoscope continuously in close contact with the eye. Conclusion From an ergonomic point of view, application of the video-assisted resection method should be preferred in transurethral endoscopic operations in order to prevent awkward postures of the surgeons and to limit muscular strain and fatigue. Furthermore, the application of the monitor method enables the use of a chair equipped with back support and armrests and benefits the reduction of postural stress.
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