Warm-up helps surgeons improve performance

Feb 03, 2009

New research published in the February issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons shows a warm-up of 15 to 20 minutes with simple surgical exercises prior to an operation leads to a substantial increase in proficiency of surgical skills in surgeons of all experience levels. The researchers found that a warm-up of both psychomotor and cognitive skills raises surgeons' alertness to a higher level for surgical procedures and improves performance for fatigued surgeons.

The advent of minimally invasive surgery has created new challenges for surgeons, requiring them to perform procedures with difficult-to-manipulate tools that constrain movement. Although new developments such as surgical robotics and more intuitive surgical instruments have addressed some of these issues, modern-day surgical practice often entails prolonged, strenuous cognitive performance as well.

"Warm-up exercises are a 'common sense' practice in many high-stakes professions, such as professional sports or dance," said Kanav Kahol, Ph.D., department of biomedical informatics, Arizona State University, Tempe. "This study begins to lay a scientific foundation for adopting this approach in routine surgical practice, which has become increasingly rigorous and demanding."

Forty-six surgeons across varying specialties and experience levels participated in the study. Subjects performed standardized exercises as a preoperative warm-up. Afterwards, the standardized exercises were repeated in randomized order to examine proficiencies in psychomotor and cognitive skills involved in surgical procedures. Proficiencies were measured by gesture-level proficiency, hand-movement smoothness, tool-movement smoothness, time elapsed and cognitive errors. Additionally, the researchers investigated generalizability of preoperative warm-up by following it with a different task, electrocautery simulation. They also examined the effect of the warm-up on fatigued participants based on their performance before and after night call.

The results showed statistically significant improvements after all of the post warm-up exercises (p<0.01) and across all experience levels. In addition, the warm-up exercises led to a significant increase in proficiency in follow-up electrocautery simulation (p<0.0001). There was also a significant improvement in performance of the fatigued group compared to baseline performance (p<0.05), although the surgeons in this group were still not able to reach optimal potential performance.

Source: Weber Shandwick Worldwide

Explore further: Liver transplant recipient marks 25th anniversary

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Baby boomers fueling boom in knee, hip surgeries

May 23, 2011

(AP) -- We're becoming a nation of bum knees, worn-out hips and sore shoulders, and it's not just the Medicare set. Baby boomer bones and joints also are taking a pounding, spawning a boom in operations to fix them.

Yes, men really can make it longer: study

Apr 19, 2011

Some non-surgical methods for increasing the length of the male sex organ do in fact work, while others are likely to result only in soreness and disappointment, a review of medical literature has shown.

Recommended for you

Ebola scare boosts business for US company

12 hours ago

The Ebola scare has subsided in the United States, at least temporarily, but an Alabama manufacturer is still trying to catch up with a glut of orders for gear to protect against the disease.

Thai parliament votes to ban commercial surrogacy (Update)

20 hours ago

Thailand's parliament has voted to ban commercial surrogacy after outrage erupted over the unregulated industry following a series scandals including the case of an Australian couple accused of abandoning a baby with Down's ...

Doctor behind 'free radical' aging theory dies

Nov 25, 2014

Dr. Denham Harman, a renowned scientist who developed the most widely accepted theory on aging that's now used to study cancer, Alzheimer's disease and other illnesses, has died in Nebraska at age 98.

Mexican boy who had massive tumor recovering

Nov 25, 2014

An 11-year-old Mexican boy who had pieces of a massive tumor removed and who drew international attention after U.S. officials helped him get treatment in the southwestern U.S. state of New Mexico is still recovering after ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.