Assessment of the Biomechanical Impact in Microvascular Surgeries on Surgeon Health and Performance

Research Trainee: Denny Yu, BS, PhD Student, Dept. of Industrial and Operations Engineering at the University of Michigan

Faculty Researcher:  Thomas J. Armstrong, PhD, Professor of Industrial and Operations Engineering and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Michigan

Microvascular surgery is possible from the magnification ability from microscopes; however the dependency on the microscope also markedly constrain the surgeons head, neck, back, and upper extremities. The goal of the proposed study is to reduce musculoskeletal (MS) pain that may adversely affect the work performance of surgeons and how long they continue their careers. To accomplish this goal, three specific aims are proposed: 1) Subjective and objective measures of surgeon discomfort during surgeries, 2) affects of visual displays on MS discomfort, and 3) developing a future intervention study. To investigate the MS discomfort from constrained postures, discomfort surveys will be administered to microvascular surgeons (n=12) and video data of their surgeries will be collected to build a model of MS discomfort and constrained postures. To investigate the affect constraints imposed by the microscope, 3 different visual displays will be investigated. The 3 displays, optical view finder, stereoscopic head mounted display, and flat panel display, vary in the constraints imposed on the user and the information presented. 20 premed and medical students will be recruited to use these displays while performing microvascular task on silicon tubing models. Video data and discomfort data will be collect to examine the effect of visual displays and posture constraints on subject performance and discomfort. Results from both aims will identify variables that merit further study, from which a doctoral thesis will be proposed and designs for an intervention study will be developed.

Publications resulting from this project:
Yu D, Green C, Kasten SJ, Sackllah ME, Armstrong TJ. Effect of alternative video displays on postures, perceived effort, and performance during microsurgery skill tasks. Applied Ergonomics. 2016;53(Part A):281-289. doi: 10.1016/j.apergo.2015.10.016.

Yu D, Cha JS, Kasten SJ, Green C, Armstrong TJ. Design of Low-Cost Ergonomic Microsurgery Equipment: Comparison of Microscope and 3D Video Displays on Task Performance. Journal of Medical Devices-Transactions of the Asme. 2015;9(2):020918. doi: 10.1115/1.4030130.

Yu D, Sackllah M, Woolley C, Kasten S, Armstrong T. Quantitative posture analysis of 2D, 3D, and optical microscope visualization methods for microsurgery tasks. Work. 2012;41(Suppl 1):1944-1947. doi: 10.3233/WOR-2012-0412-1944.

Yu D, Sackllah ME, Woolley CB, Kasten SJ, Kim D, Green C, Armstrong TJ. The effect of visualization method on the performance of simulated microsurgery tasks. Work. 2012;41(Suppl 1):5634-5636. doi: 10.3233/WOR-2012-0901-5634.