Surgical process modelling: a review

Review Article



Surgery is continuously subject to technological and medical innovations that are transforming daily surgical routines. In order to gain a better understanding and description of surgeries, the field of surgical process modelling (SPM) has recently emerged. The challenge is to support surgery through the quantitative analysis and understanding of operating room activities. Related surgical process models can then be introduced into a new generation of computer-assisted surgery systems.


In this paper, we present a review of the literature dealing with SPM. This methodological review was obtained from a search using Google Scholar on the specific keywords: “surgical process analysis”, “surgical process model” and “surgical workflow analysis”.


This paper gives an overview of current approaches in the field that study the procedural aspects of surgery. We propose a classification of the domain that helps to summarise and describe the most important components of each paper we have reviewed, i.e., acquisition, modelling, analysis, application and validation/evaluation. These five aspects are presented independently along with an exhaustive list of their possible instantiations taken from the studied publications.


This review allows a greater understanding of the SPM field to be gained and introduces future related prospects.


Surgical workflow Procedural knowledge Surgical skill evaluation Computer-assisted surgery 


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Copyright information

© CARS 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Rennes I, LTSIRennesFrance
  2. 2.INSERM, U1099RennesFrance
  3. 3.LTSI Faculté de médecine/Equipe U1099 MédicisUniversité Rennes IRennesFrance

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