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Unintentional movements during the use of vitreoretinal forceps

Lookup NU author(s): Professor David SteelORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


© 2018 The Authors. Purpose: Intraocular forceps used in vitreoretinal surgery are actuated by squeezing their handles. We studied the relationship between actuation and any accompanying unintentional movements of the instrument tip, and compared different handle designs and gauges. Methods: Optical sensors were used to measure involuntary movements of forceps tips while monitoring the extent of actuation. Mean root mean square (RMS) and ranges of signals obtained from sensors were computed before and after applying high (7–13 Hz) and low (<5 Hz) frequency filters. Four handle designs, two gauge sizes, and two users were compared to each other. Results: In the absence of human contact, mean RMS of noise was 6.47 μ and mean range was 21.67 μ. When the forceps were held by the surgeon but kept motionless (no actuation), mean RMS was 58.01 μ and mean range was 156.66 μ. When the forceps were actuated, mean RMS was 214.71 μ and mean range was 566.11 μ. The differences were statistically significant (P < 0.001). The process of actuation by both users was positively correlated with unintentional movements mainly at low frequencies. No statistically significant differences were found between users and between two gauges (23 and 27) at mixed and low frequencies. Pneumatic handles showed less RMS and range values at higher frequencies compared to conventional handle designs. Eliminating human error by fixing pneumatic forceps to the model did not reduce unintentional movements, but eliminated their correlation with actuation. Conclusions: Actuating forceps was associated directly with increased unintentional low frequency movements at the tip of the forceps when held by hand. Translational Relevance: A novel system of measuring unintentional forceps tip movement during actuation is described which could be used to guide improved design.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Dogramaci M, Steel DH

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Translational Vision Science and Technology

Year: 2018

Volume: 7

Issue: 6

Print publication date: 21/12/2018

Acceptance date: 29/10/2018

Date deposited: 14/01/2019

ISSN (electronic): 2164-2591

Publisher: Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology Inc.


DOI: 10.1167/tvst.7.6.28


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