Validity verification of exoskeleton surgical assist suit by suturing swine stomach

Kei Aoki, None1, Hiroshi Kawahira2, Ryota Nakajima3, Yshihiro Shimomura4, Hisahiro Matsubara5. 1Department of Medical System Engineering, Chiba University, 2Center for Frontier Medical Engineering, Chiba University, 3Graduates School of Medical and Pharmaceutical Science, Chiba University, 4Division of Design Science, Graduate School of Engineering, Chiba University, 5Department of Frontier Surgery, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University

Introduction: In the laparoscopic surgery, Trocar placement at the abdominal wall limits surgeon's forceps operation. Besides, it is necessary for the lap surgeons to twist a neck and a body to watch a monitor during the surgery. Lap surgeons might have to keep painful posture. Therefore, the physical burdens for lap surgeons were increased compared to the traditional open surgeons. In order to reduce lap surgeon’s physical burdens, we developed an exoskeleton assist suit (Surgical Assist Suits, SAS). The concept of the SAS is to hold the surgeon’s upper arm and not to move automatically. We experimented for verify validity of SAS in the dry box that simulated endscopic surgery environment.

Methods: In the dry box, the subject continuous sutured transection state swine stomach by 3-0 Polysorb. The subject was a surgeon. The experiment was conducted twice that he didn’t use SAS and three times used SAS. We measured anterior and side deltoid EMG: it was relativized at maximum voluntary contraction amplitude (%MVC).

Results: According to the experimental results, we did unpaired t-test: every part %MVC between with SAS and without SAS. From the result, we couldn’t obtain significant difference between not use and use. Therefore, we couldn’t confirm validity of SAS.

Conclusion: SAS was designed for holding upper arm elevation. For that reason, it was suggested that SAS may not be effective at this experiment that continuous suture was the main procedure. From the experimental results, we reconsider use of SAS and revisit methods of validity verification, and report future prospect. 

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