Stress brought on by time constraints may affect surgeons performing minimally invasive treatments. For a study, researchers sought to determine how mistakes and force application during minimally invasive surgical procedures affected surgical quality.

For 4 laparoscopic tasks (PEG transfer, precise cutting, balloon resection, and surgical knot), 63 participants (43 surgical novices trained to proficiency and 20 surgeons) performed them both under time constraints and without them. The average and maximum force applied throughout each task served as the primary endpoint. The occurrence of predetermined mistakes and the amount of perceived stress were secondary objectives.

The task times for all 4 activities were significantly reduced as a result of time constraints. However, in one challenge that was time-constrained, there were noticeably more mistakes (suture accuracy P<0.001). Additionally, the mean force significantly increased across all activities under time pressure (PEG: P<0.001, precision cutting: P=0.001, surgical knot: P<0.001, balloon: P=0.004). Maximum force application considerably increased in 3 activities (PEG: P<0.001, precision cutting: P<0.001, and surgical knot: P=0.006). The degree of stress dramatically rose while doing the activities under time constraints. Time pressure had a negative impact on both surgeons and surgical novices, although novices were more severely affected than surgeons, according to the cohort research.

While time constraints during minimally invasive surgery might speed up the surgical process, they degraded the procedure’s effectiveness in terms of mistake rates and force application. The detrimental effects of time constraints may only be partially made up for by experience.

Reference: sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1743919122005908