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Urology; Radiology; General Surgery


Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the impact of intraoperative disruptions on surgeons’ workload and performance during percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL).
Materials and methods: A structured and standardized tool was used to identify disruptions and interferences that occurred during 33 PCNL procedures. The surgical steps during PCNL were divided into four phases: ureteric catheter placement (phase I), puncture and tract dilation (phase II), intra-calyceal navigation and stone fragmentation (phase III), and tube placement (phase IV). Surgeons’ workload was evaluated using a validated tool: Surgery Task Load Index (SURG-TLX), and correlated with the mean observed intraoperative disruptions. All operating team members evaluated the teamwork immediately after the procedure. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS Statistics version 22 (IBM, Armonk, NY).
Results: A total of 1,897 disturbances were observed, with an average of 57.48 ± 16.36 disruptions per case. The largest number of disruptions occurred during phase III of PCNL (32.06 ± 14.12). The most common cause of the disruption was people entering or exiting the operating room (OR) (29.1 ± 10.03/case), followed by the ringing of phones or pagers (6.42 ± 2.4). The mean observed intraoperative disruptions were significantly associated with the operating surgeon’s mental workload, and it had a significant impact on all domains of surgeons’ mental workload as measured by SURG-TLX. Compared to other team members, surgeons’ assistants experienced an inferior sense of teamwork (r=-0.433; p=0.012).
Conclusion: Significant intraoperative disruptions were observed during PCNL. They were observed to directly correlate with the surgeon's workload and had a detrimental effect on teamwork. Improving OR dynamics by reducing unnecessary disruptions would help establish an efficient and smooth surgical work environment for safe surgical care.


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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.