Evaluation of surgical performance with standard rigid and flexible-tip laparoscopes

J. M. Perrone, C. D. Ames, Y. Yan, J. Landman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background: Flexible-tip laparoscopes have recently been introduced into clinical practice, with the goal of improving surgeon performance during complex laparoscopic procedures. We used objective and subjective performance parameters to compare standard rigid 0° and 30° lens laparoscopes two flexible-tip laparoscopes in an in vitro model. Methods: Twenty-nine subjects with varied levels of surgical experience performed complex laparoscopic tasks in three different models simulating (a) prostate dissection from the rectum, (b) cystic duct clipping, and (c) distal posterior rectum dissection. Each task was performed using two Storz rigid laparoscopes (0° and 30°) and two flexible-tip laparoscopes, the Olympus LTF-V3 and the Fujinon EL2-TF310. The sequence of application of the two flexible-tip laparoscopes was randomized. In each case, an experienced laparoscopic camera driver controlled the field of vision. Time to complete each task, operative precision, and subjective surgeon rating scores were compared. Statistical analysis was performed with analysis of variance (ANOVA) and a two-sided fisher's exact test. Results: In all three models, the flexible laparoscopes offered no advantage in terms of procedure time, surgical precision, or subjective surgeon rating score when compared with the 30° lens rigid laparoscope. The 30° rigid lens laparoscope and the two flexible-tip laparoscopes were superior to the 0° lens rigid laparoscope for all parameters evaluated, with the exception of subjective rating in the cystic duct model and procedure time in the colorectal model. Conclusion: In this in vitro experimental model, the flexible-tip laparoscopes found to have no advantage over the standard rigid 30° lens laparoscope. These models were validated, as the 0° lens rigid laparoscope was surpassed by the 30° lens rigid laparoscope and the flexible-tip laparoscopes. Both flexible-tip laparoscopes produced similar results and excellent image quality, but some experience is required before their smooth application can be achieved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1325-1328
Number of pages4
JournalSurgical Endoscopy and Other Interventional Techniques
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2005


  • Laparoscopes
  • Optical design
  • Surgical technology
  • Video systems


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