A change in surgeons may be necessary in very long operations, say UK researchers. Slack and colleagues studied the effect of operating time on surgeons’ muscular fatigue by collecting electromyographic signals from the deltoid (lateral head) and brachioradialis muscles in the dominant arms of eight surgeons while operating for a day. They found that the muscles fatigued during each operation, as well as over the course of the day; the longer the operation, the greater the fatigue. The researchers recommended that operations requiring high degrees of accuracy should be performed early in the day, that the more complex parts of each operation should be performed as early as possible, and that in the case of late complexity or very long operations, a change in surgeons may well be worth considering.
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