Verrelli DI, Qian Y, Wood J, Wilson MK

Int J Med Robot 2015 Dec;

PMID: 26647732


BACKGROUND: Tremor is a major impediment to performing fine motor tasks, as in microsurgery. However, conventional measurements do not involve tasks representative of microsurgery.

METHOD: We developed a low-cost surgical simulator incorporating a force transducer capable of detecting and quantifying the effects of tremor upon high-fidelity silicone replicas of cardiac vessels and substrate muscle. Experienced and trainee surgeons performed simulated anastomoses on this rig. We characterized procedures in terms of tremor intensity, based on Lomb-Scargle periodograms.

RESULTS: Distinctive force oscillations occurred at 8-12 Hz, characteristic of enhanced physiological tremor, yielding peaks in power spectral density. These early results suggest a significantly lower transmission of tremor to the operative field by the experienced surgeon in comparison to the trainees.

CONCLUSIONS: This new device quantifies the action of tremor upon a manipulandum during a complex task, which may be used for assessment and providing feedback to trainee surgeons. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.