Warm-up before laparoscopic surgery is not essential

Maree K. Weston, Jacqueline H. Stephens, Amy Schafer, Peter J. Hewett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Several recent studies have suggested that warming up prior to surgery may improve surgical performance. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether warming up prior to laparoscopic surgery improves surgical performance or reduces surgery duration. Methods: Between August 2011 and January 2012, a randomized controlled trial was conducted to compare two warm-up modalities to no warm-up. The study was conducted at a single site, with nine surgeons performing 72 laparoscopic cholecystectomies and 37 laparoscopic appendicectomies. Prior to surgery, surgeons were randomized to either laparoscopic trainer box warm-up, PlayStation 2 warm-up or no warm-up. The activity was performed within 30min of surgery commencing. Patients provided informed consent for the surgery to be digitally recorded. Digital videodiscs (DVDs) were reviewed by an independent and blinded assessor. Data were collected on duration of surgery, level of training and perceived surgical difficulty. Surgical performance was graded using a validated scoring system. Results: From the 109 operations performed, there were 75 usable DVDs. Overall, there were no statistical differences in the demographics of patients and surgeons in the three treatment groups, nor in the subset that had useable DVDs. There were no statistical differences in the duration of surgery or surgeon's perceived surgical difficulty. There was no statistical difference in surgical performance. Conclusions: This study suggests that warm-up prior to laparoscopic cholecystectomy or appendicectomy is not essential, acknowledging that there are several study limitations that preclude definitive conclusion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-147
Number of pages5
JournalANZ Journal of Surgery
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Appendicectomy/education
  • Cholecystectomy
  • Clinical competence
  • Laparoscopic/education
  • Psychomotor performance
  • Warm-up exercise


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