Laparoscopic instrumentation is constantly being refined in an attempt to achieve the proficiency, flexibility, and tactile feedback that would be available if the human hand were small enough to be used in laparoscopic surgery. The EndoHand (DAUM GmbH, Schwerin, Germany) is a novel laparoscopic three-fingered hand developed as an advancement over standard laparoscopic tools. Grasping and manipulation ability, dexterity, and tactile feedback were compared with those of current laparoscopic instrumentation. Experiments included measurement of achievable angles of approach to a fixed point behind a 2-cm-tall obstruction, completion time and error rates during a pelvic trainer dexterity task, and tactile feedback using a device invented to simulate tissue resistance. Subjectively, the EndoHand was able to pick up a range of objects similar to those graspable by a Babcock clamp. More complex types of manipulation were possible with the EndoHand because of its wrist joint. The range of approach angles to the fixed point was 35 to 90 with the EndoHand and 70°to 90°with the straight instruments. The dexterity of the EndoHand was significantly less than that of the other two instruments, as measured by time (P = 0.0002) and errors (P = 0.02). Standard instruments were also more accurate in the tactile feedback trials (P = 0.02). The EndoHand is a prototype of a unique new generation of laparoscopic instruments. Although it falls short in both dexterity and tactile feedback, significant promise is shown in its ability to perform sophisticated manipulation of objects and its flexibility to work at a larger range of angles to the target tissue. The EndoHand may be most useful on the nondominant hand of the surgeon to assist with positioning and holding tissue in a specific orientation. Clinical trials will determine its eventual role in laparoscopic surgery.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Journal of Laparoendoscopic and Advanced Surgical Techniques|
|Publication status||Published - Jun 1999|
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