International Urogynecology Journal

, Volume 30, Issue 12, pp 2177–2182 | Cite as

Flow disruptions in robotic-assisted abdominal sacrocolpopexy: does robotic surgery introduce unforeseen challenges for gynecologic surgeons?

  • Colby P. Souders
  • Ken Catchpole
  • Alex Hannemann
  • Ronit Lyon
  • Karyn S. Eilber
  • Catherine Bresee
  • Tara Cohen
  • Matthias Weigl
  • Jennifer T. Anger
Original Article


Introduction and hypothesis

The purpose of this study was to apply a human factors research approach to identify flow disruptions, deviations in the optimal course of care, in robotic abdominal sacrocolpopexy procedures with the ultimate goal of developing system interventions to improve the safety and efficiency of robotic surgery.


Twenty-four robotic abdominal sacrocolpopexy procedures were observed for flow disruptions. Surgeries were divided into four phases: (1) patient arrival and induction of anesthesia; (2) port placement and robot docking; (3) console time; (4) undocking of robot, incision closure, and patient exiting the OR.


Flow disruptions were observed at a rate of 10.9 ± 5.1 per hour. The most frequently observed flow disruptions involved training issues (2.8 ± 2.4 flow disruptions per hour), equipment (2.2 ± 1.6 flow disruptions per hour), and poor coordination (2.0 ± 1.3 flow disruptions per hour). The rate of flow disruptions was highest in phase 2 (19.2 ± 14.4 flow disruptions per hour). Cases with more experienced surgeons involved shorter console times by 1.5 h (95% CI: 0.1, 3.0, p = 0.033) and 1.8 fewer (95% CI: 1.2, 2.6, p = 0.001) flow disruptions per hour. Surgeries were 1 h shorter on average (95% CI: 0.1, 1.9, p = 0.034) in cases in which the patient was > 65 years old. Da Vinci S console times were 0.8 h longer (95% CI: 0.01, 1.5, p = 0.047) than Si.


Flow disruptions in robotic abdominal sacrocolpopexy surgery occur about every 6 min. Flow disruption rates are highest during the most complex portions of the surgery. More experienced surgeons have lower flow disruption rates and operate more quickly.


Da Vinci system Flow disruptions Human factors research Robotic surgical procedures Sacrocolpopexy 



This study was funded by National Institute of Biomedical Imaging & Biomedical Engineering Award R03EB017447 (Catchpole/Anger) and the UCLA Medical Student Training in Aging Research Program—the National Institute on Aging (T35AG026736), the John A. Hartford Foundation, and the Lillian R. Gleitsman Foundation.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© The International Urogynecological Association 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Colby P. Souders
    • 1
  • Ken Catchpole
    • 2
  • Alex Hannemann
    • 1
  • Ronit Lyon
    • 1
  • Karyn S. Eilber
    • 1
  • Catherine Bresee
    • 1
  • Tara Cohen
    • 1
  • Matthias Weigl
    • 3
  • Jennifer T. Anger
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Cedars-Sinai Medical CenterLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Medical University of South CarolinaCharlestonUSA
  3. 3.Ludwig-Maximilians-University of MunichMunichGermany
  4. 4.Beverly HillsUSA

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