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The influence of force feedback and visual feedback in grasping tissue laparoscopicaUy

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Background: Due to the limited force feedback provided by laparoscopic instruments, surgeons may have difficulty in applying the appropriate force on the tissue. The aim of this study was to determine the influence of force feedback and visual feedback on the exerted pinch force.

Methods: A grasper with a force sensor in the jaws was developed. Subjects with and without laparoscopic experience grasped and pulled pig bowel with a force of 5 N. The applied pinch force was measured during tasks of 1-s and 1-min duration. Visual feedback was provided in half the measurements. Force feedback was adjusted by changing the mechanical efficiency of the forceps from 30% to 90%.

Results: The mean pinch force applied was 6.8 N (± 0.5), whereas the force to prevent slippage was 3.0 N ( ± 0.4). Improving the mechanical efficiency had no effect on the pinch force for the 1-s measurements. The amount of excessive pinch force when holding tissue for 1 min was lower at 30% mechanical efficiency compared with 90% (105% vs 131 %, p = 0.04). The tissue slipped more often when the subject had no visual feedback (2% vs 8%, p = 0.02).

Conclusion: Force feedback and visual feedbacK playa more limited role than expected in the task of grasping tissue with laparoscopic forceps.

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Correspondence to E. A. M. Heijnsdijk.

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Heijnsdijk, E.A.M., Pasdeloup, A., van der Pijl, A.J. et al. The influence of force feedback and visual feedback in grasping tissue laparoscopicaUy. Surg Endosc 18, 980–985 (2004).

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Key words

  • Force feedback
  • Visual feedback
  • Laparoscopy
  • Tissue manipulation