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Journal of Healthcare Engineering
Volume 3, Issue 4, Pages 587-603
Research Article

A Review of the Ergonomic Issues in the Laparoscopic Operating Room

Sang D. Choi

Department of Occupational & Environmental Safety & Health, Center for Occupational Safety and Ergonomics Research, University of Wisconsin–Whitewater, 800 West Main Street, Whitewater WI 53190-1790, USA

Received 1 December 2011; Accepted 1 August 2012

Copyright © 2012 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. 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.


This review paper discusses the ergonomic challenges associated with laparoscopy in the operating room (OR) and summarizes the practical ergonomic solutions. The literature search was conducted in the fields of laparoscopy and applied ergonomics. Findings indicated that laparoscopic OR staff (surgeons, perioperative nurses and technicians) commonly experienced physical and mental ergonomic risks while working in prolonged static and awkward body positions. This study highlighted the need for more ergonomic interventions in OR environment in order to improve the efficiency of laparoscopy. Ergonomic solutions included utilizing adjustable equipment, placing computer peripherals in optimal locations, providing ergonomic instruments, and improving communication. Understanding the job- or task-related ergonomic risks and hazards could help identify intervention requirements to meet the challenges associated with increased dependency on advanced high technology in the OR.