Eye motion parameters correlate with level of experience in video-assisted surgery: Objective testing of three tasks

Ergun Kocak, Jan Ober, Necip Berme, W. Scott Melvin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Background: Laparoscopic skills vary with experience and training; however, objective measures to ascertain the level of training have not yet been established. New technology allows noninterfering measurement of eye motion parameters that correlate with attention and distraction during visually oriented tasks. Our objective was to apply this new technology in the setting of video-assisted surgery to evaluate eye motion parameters among surgeons of varying experience. Materials and Methods: Subjects with various levels of laparoscopic experience (novice, intermediate, and expert) were fitted with a noninvasive, Food and Drug Administration approved, eye motion monitoring device. The device was used to measure and record parameters of eye motion, including saccadic rate (SR), standardized peak velocity (PV), standardized saccadic amplitude (SA), and the duration of gaze fixation (FD), during the performance of 3 basic laparoscopic tasks on a laparoscopic training station. Results: A total of 24 subjects (3 groups of 8 each) participated in this study. Experience level was found to have a main significant effect on SR (P = 0.047) and PV (P = 0.028). Two-way ANOVA demonstrated that experience level approached significance for SA (P = 0.058) and FD (P = 0.055). Conclusion: The advancement of laparoscopic techniques and instrumentation relies, in part, on expanding the current understanding of operator/instrument interactions. This places an increasing demand on objective methods of monitoring such interactions during laparoscopy. Our study demonstrates a significant difference in eye motion parameters in surgeons with differing levels of experience. Further testing is needed in actual clinical settings to determine the importance of eye motion during surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)575-580
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Laparoendoscopic and Advanced Surgical Techniques - Part A
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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