Sources of pain in laparoendoscopic gynecological surgeons: An analysis of ergonomic factors and proposal of an aid to improve comfort

<div><p>Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) offers cosmetic benefits to patients; however, surgeons often experience pain during MIS. We administered an ergonomic questionnaire to 176 Korean laparoscopic gynecological surgeons to determine potential sources of pain during surgery. Logistic regression analysis was used to identify factors that had a significant impact on gynecological surgeons’ pain. Operating table height at the beginning of surgery and during the operation were significantly associated with neck and shoulder discomfort (<i>P</i> <0.001). The ability to control the operating table height was the single factor most significantly associated with neck (<i>P</i> <0.001) and shoulder discomfort (<i>P</i> <0.001). Discomfort of the hand/digits was significantly associated with the trocar site (<i>P</i> = 0.035). The type of electrocautery activation switch and foot pedal were significantly related to surgeons’ foot and leg discomfort (<i>P</i> <0.001). In evaluating the co-occurrence of pain in 4 different sites (neck, shoulder, back, hand/digits), the neck and shoulder were determined to have the highest co-occurrence of pain (Spearman’s <i>ρ</i> = 0.64, <i>P</i> <0.001). These results provide guidance for identifying ergonomic solutions to reduce gynecological laparoscopic surgeons’ pain. Based on our results, we propose the use of an ergonomic surgical step stool to reduce physical pain related to performing laparoscopic operations.</p></div>