Task and motion analyses in endoscopic surgery

Caroline G.L. Cao, Christine L. MacKenzie, Shahram Payandeh

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


We present here task and motion analyses, part of a larger study on users, tasks and tools in endoscopic surgery. Expert and novice surgeons' performance of laparoscopic surgery in training workshops was captured on video and analyzed. Four basic surgical tasks were identified: dissecting tissue, suturing, tying knots, and cutting suture. Each task was decomposed into subtasks with operational beginnings and endings. Subtasks were further analyzed into component motions. Here we discuss: differences between novice and expert surgeons; task constraints that might account for the pattern of results across the different tasks, including precision and safety constraints; differences in manipulation of the same endoscopic tool as a function of the target object; the large number of 'additional' motions; difficulties in positioning and orientation of tools to perform the surgical tasks; and the serial execution of reach and grasp movements in endoscopic surgery, compared to their parallel execution in natural prehension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes
EventProceedings of the 1996 ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition - Atlanta, GA, USA
Duration: Nov 17 1996Nov 22 1996


OtherProceedings of the 1996 ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
CityAtlanta, GA, USA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Mechanical Engineering


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