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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013, Article ID 349825, 16 pages
Research Article

The Investigation of Laparoscopic Instrument Movement Control and Learning Effect

Department of Industrial Management, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, No. 43, Section 4, Keelung Road, Da’an District, Taipei 106, Taiwan

Received 30 April 2013; Revised 27 June 2013; Accepted 2 July 2013

Academic Editor: Jacob J. Sosnoff

Copyright © 2013 Chiuhsiang Joe Lin and Hung-Jen Chen. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Laparoscopic surgery avoids large incisions for intra-abdominal operations as required in conventional open surgery. Whereas the patient benefits from laparoscopic techniques, the surgeon encounters new difficulties that were not present during open surgery procedures. However, limited literature has been published in the essential movement characteristics such as magnification, amplitude, and angle. For this reason, the present study aims to investigate the essential movement characteristics of instrument manipulation via Fitts' task and to develop an instrument movement time predicting model. Ten right-handed subjects made discrete Fitts' pointing tasks using a laparoscopic trainer. The experimental results showed that there were significant differences between the three factors in movement time and in throughput. However, no significant differences were observed in the improvement rate for movement time and throughput between these three factors. As expected, the movement time was rather variable and affected markedly by direction to target. The conventional Fitts' law model was extended by incorporating a directional parameter into the model. The extended model was shown to better fit the data than the conventional model. These findings pointed to a design direction for the laparoscopic surgery training program, and the predictive model can be used to establish standards in the training procedure.