gms | German Medical Science

78. Jahresversammlung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Hals-Nasen-Ohren-Heilkunde, Kopf- und Hals-Chirurgie e. V.

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Hals-Nasen-Ohren-Heilkunde, Kopf- und Hals-Chirurgie e. V.

16.05. - 20.05.2007, München

Lefthandedness in surgery

Meeting Abstract

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German Society of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Head and Neck Surgery. 78th Annual Meeting of the German Society of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Head and Neck Surgery. Munich, 16.-20.05.2007. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2007. Doc07hno023

Die elektronische Version dieses Artikels ist vollständig und ist verfügbar unter: http://www.egms.de/de/meetings/hno2007/07hno023.shtml

Veröffentlicht: 8. August 2007

© 2007 Riedel et al.
Dieser Artikel ist ein Open Access-Artikel und steht unter den Creative Commons Lizenzbedingungen (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/deed.de). Er darf vervielf&aauml;ltigt, verbreitet und &oauml;ffentlich zug&aauml;nglich gemacht werden, vorausgesetzt dass Autor und Quelle genannt werden.


Gliederung

Text

About 8 to 10% of the world´s population is left-handed. There is little data available concerning left-handedness among surgeons. Investigations of Schott et al. 1 suggest that the percentage of left-handed individuals among surgeons is lower than that in the general population.

In Germany approximately 66500 physicians work as surgeons. Assuming the percentage of left-handedness is equal to that of the general population there must be about 5000 to 6600 left-handed surgeons. Nevertheless, there are neither defined criteria in the training of left-handed surgeons nor adequate left-handed instruments.

In the following study we investigated the percentage of left-handers among surgeons of the Westpfalz-Klinikum GmbH in Kaiserslautern. We further tested how surgical procedures in ENT could be done ergonomically by a left-handed person and how to improve the surgical training of left-handers.

The percentage of left-handed surgeons was inquired by telephone calls in the different surgical departments of the Westpfalz-Klinikum GmbH in Kaiserslautern. 59 adenotomies, 38 tonsillectomies, 69 paracentesis, 38 myringotomy tubes, 15 repositions of the nasal bone, 27 endoscopic procedures, 16 tracheotomies and 11 septoplasties were performed by a left-handed resident using instruments developed for right-handers.

Among the 52 surgeons of the Westpfalz-Klinikum GmbH in Kaiserslautern 5 are left-handed, which approximates the percentage of left-handers in the general population.

In many surgical procedures in ENT the left-handedness of the surgeon was of no great importance for the technique of the operation – apart from the absence of left-handed tools like needle-holders and scissors. Some procedures could be done more easily by the left-handed resident standing on the left side of the patient, i.e. septoplasties. This also required more flexibility on the part of the supervisor.

The number of left-handed surgeons of the Westpfalz-Klinikum GmbH in Kaiserslautern is similar to the percentage of left-handers in the general population. This stands in contrast to the data of Schott et al. [1] who found a difference in the frequency of left-handedness between surgeons and physicians.

In general, left-handers are a minority in surgical disciplines and until now attention has rarely been directed to the particular needs of left-handers during training and in practice. Provision of left-handed instruments and left-handed mentors could minimize difficulties for left-handed residents [2]. ENT procedures can ordinarily be performed by left-handers, but sometimes they are more difficult to learn. It may be more convenient for the left-handed learner to choose a left-handed rather than a right-handed approach.


References

1.
Schott J, Puttick M. Handedness among surgeons. BMJ. 1995; 310: 739.
2.
Prasad SA, Kell C, Chang J-H, Tuorto S, Leitmann M. Left-handed surgeons. Are they left out? Curr Surg. 2004; 61: 587-91