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Surgical fidelity: comparing the microscope and the endoscope

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Abstract

Background

Both the microscope and the endoscope are widely used as visualization tools in neurosurgery; however, surgical dexterity when operating with each may differ. The aim of this study was to compare the surgical fidelity when using each of these visualization tools.

Methods

Junior residents and expert surgeons performed standardized motor tasks under microscopic and endoscopic visualization. Demerits for inaccuracy and time needed to complete the tasks were used to compare the surgeons’ performance with the microscope and the endoscope. The participants also performed a motor task under direct vision using different instruments to evaluate whether the shape of the instrument had any impact on the surgical fidelity.

Results

For the junior residents, the number of demerits accrued was lower with the microscope than with the endoscope, and the time needed to complete the tasks was also lower with the microscope. There was no difference in the number of demerits between the microscopic and the endoscopic experts, but the microscopic expert completed the task in a shorter time. There was no difference in demerits or performance time when comparing a short, straight instrument and a longer, bayoneted one.

Conclusions

For junior residents, surgical fidelity is higher with the microscope than with the endoscope. This difference vanishes with experience, but a slower speed of execution is observed with endoscopic visualization, both in junior and expert surgeons.

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Acknowledgments

We thank the surgeons who participated in our trials and Kristin Kraus, MSc, for editorial assistance with this paper.

Conflicts of Interest

None.

Author information

Correspondence to William T. Couldwell.

Electronic supplementary material

Below is the link to the electronic supplementary material.

Video demonstrates how the tests of surgical fidelity were completed and illustrates these completions in real time. (MP4 32233 kb)

Video 1

Video demonstrates how the tests of surgical fidelity were completed and illustrates these completions in real time. (MP4 32233 kb)

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Cote, M., Kalra, R., Wilson, T. et al. Surgical fidelity: comparing the microscope and the endoscope. Acta Neurochir 155, 2299–2303 (2013) doi:10.1007/s00701-013-1889-4

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Keywords

  • Microsurgery
  • Endoscopy
  • Surgical fidelity
  • Task performance
  • Learning curve