Exploration of Ways to Improve the Efficiency of Instrument Handling in the Operating Room During Microlaryngeal Surgery

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Molly Heiser
Lillian Lacey
Anita Ney
Elijah Strickland
Jasmine Price
Bridget Strotman
Susan Kotowski


By Molly Heiser, Health Sciences ; Lillian Lacey, Health Sciences ; Anita Ney, Health Sciences ; Elijah Strickland, Health Sciences ; Jasmine Price, Health Sciences ; Bridget Strotman, Health Sciences

Advisor: Susan Kotowski

Presentation ID: 162

Abstract: Microlaryngeal surgery is a minimally invasive procedure used to biopsy or remove abnormal growths in the larynx. The goal of this project was to evaluate the efficiency of microlaryngeal surgery, particularly from the perspective of the handling of surgical instruments during procedures in the operating room. A three-prong approach was taken and included observation of surgical procedures, surveying of surgeons and surgical technicians, and development of a prototype instrument holder. During microlaryngeal surgery, the surgeon sits at the head of the patient with the surgical technician off to either their left or right. The majority of the time the surgeon is using both hands simultaneously. Based on observation in the operating room, instrumentation is passed back and forth frequently. Because of this set-up, instrumentation is sometimes passed over the top of the patient or from behind the surgeon. Inefficiencies in the handling process result as does an increased potential for dropping instruments and bumping the patient which can be detrimental. It is not feasible to have another surgical technician and instrument table on the other side of the patient due to space and cost issues, so having a smaller instrument holder on the opposite side of the patient was investigated to minimize passing instruments over the patients. A prototype instrument holder was designed to hold 3-4 of the most commonly used instruments, along with suction, and the laser. The survey was also utilized to determine the perceived inefficiencies and difficulties of instrument handling by both the surgeons and surgical technicians.

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Category: Design Matters