Perception of Compliance in Laparoscopic Surgery
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Laparoscopic surgery provides major benefits to patients in terms of decreased pain and post-operative hospital stays, but also increases their risks of intra-operative injuries because of the reduction in feedback in the tactile and visual channels compared to open surgery. Although the limitations of laparoscopy have been studied, the specific role of force feedback in laparoscopic surgery performance is not well understood. The purpose of this thesis is to determine the effect of force feedback on the ability to accurately discriminate tissue compliance by comparing subjective tissue softness assessment, force output, and subjective force assessment, in conventional and laparoscopic setups. The experimental trials involved eleven participants providing evaluations for a range of compliant samples, and analyzed their force output as well as their subjective evaluation of force output. The results of this investigation show that the accuracy of compliance discrimination is worse when using indirect probing compared to direct probing, and that the force used in direct probing is lower than the indirect scenario. Further, the subjective assessment of force output in direct probing is not significantly different compared to indirect probing. Further research involving more replication, expert of laparoscopy, and a focus on grip force are recommended to better understand our awareness of the subjective force output.